Ontario Shores partners with OPG to deliver mental health first aid to employees

TORONTO, May 4, 2016 /CNW/ - In the heart of National Mental Health Week, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) have announced an agreement to provide mental health training to the energy provider's employees. 

The agreement supports the training of up to 2,000 OPG employees in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), a certificate program managed in this country by the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

"Ontario Shores is pleased to be able to deliver this important education to the employees of OPG," says Karim Mamdani, President and CEO of Ontario Shores. "This agreement speaks not only to the investment OPG makes towards the mental health of its staff but also the trust in the expertise we have here at Ontario Shores." 

This training will be carried out over a two year period at various OPG locations. OPG has identified the benefits of providing staff with mental health awareness training and Ontario Shores has instructors with the knowledge and expertise in the field to deliver it.

"A lack of understanding can represent a significant barrier to helping individuals overcome mental health challenges," says Jeff Lyash, OPG President and CEO.   "We believe our partnership with Ontario Shores will be a valuable resource for employees."

The main goals of this effort are to:

  • Improve the mental health literacy of OPG employees
  • Decrease stigmatized attitudes about mental illness in the workplace
  • Provide OPG employees with greater confidence in providing help to others through listening non-judgmentally
  • Create the safest work environment possible, both physically and mentally, for all OPG employees
  • Create safer communities
  • Promote the recovery of good mental health by accommodating employees in distress or recovering from a crisis
  • Increase productivity and reduce absenteeism and overall pressure on benefits

The MHFA Canada program aims to improve mental health literacy, and provide the skills and knowledge to help people better manage potential or developing mental health problems in themselves, a family member, a friend or a colleague. Similarly to standard first aid, MHFA trains people how to respond to a mental health crisis rather than a physical one. Ontario Shores has been providing MHFA training since 2012 and has trained approximately 600 participants.

Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences:
Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) is a leader in mental health care, providing a range of specialized assessments and treatment services for people living with complex mental illness. Patients benefit from a recovery-oriented environment of care, built on compassion, inspiration and hope. Ontario Shores engages in research, education and advocacy initiatives to advance the mental health care system.

Ontario Power Generation
OPG provides about half the power Ontario relies on. The electricity OPG produces is 99.7 per cent free of greenhouse gas and smog causing emissions.

SOURCE Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences

For further information: Ontario Shores Contact: Chris Bovie, External Relations Officer 905-430-4055 ext. 6574; OPG Contact: Neal Kelly, Director Media, Issues, Information Management, 416-592-7564

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Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences

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