Canada's Healthy Workplace Month® - Fostering Healthy Minds at Work

Get involved now! October is Canada's Healthy Workplace Month® (CHWM) 

TORONTO, Oct. 2, 2013 /CNW/ - With everyone back from summer vacation, it's a great time to launch healthy new initiatives for the workplace, such as:

  • participating in
  • sharing what your organization is doing to create a healthier workplace
  • being recognized as a leader in promoting physical and psychological health and safety at work

'Healthy Minds at Work…the mental health connection' is this year's theme for Canada's Healthy Workplace Month®, highlighting the connection between mental health and overall health, well-being, and safety at work.

To encourage a holistic approach for achieving optimal health, CHWM helps organizers and staff to:

  • reduce stigma by changing how we talk and think about mental health
  • understand what contributes to a psychologically healthy and safe workplace
  • promote participation in educational and fun activities

We know that depression in the workplace can often go unnoticed, due to a lack of awareness and understanding of mental health. This can translate into a lack of support for the more than 22% of Canadian employees who report suffering depression.*

Take action to reduce the stigma and lost time associated with mental illness in your workplace. Implement strategies that foster healthy minds at work. Some examples to get you started in your workplace are:

  • Build awareness with Working Through ItTM - video interviews of real people sharing their experiences of working through times of mental health pressures. Visit the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace website at
  • Subscribe to TakeYourBreak, a free resource created to help improve the mental health of people at work by taking breaks. The TakeYourBreak weekly email program suggests mental health break activities that can be adapted to accommodate any level of ability. Each of these no-cost to low-cost activities can be done at work, last no more than 15 minutes and fit into one of three categories - calming, energizing or relaxing.
  • Publish and implement anti-discrimination and harassment policies - refer to: Ontario Safety Association for Community & Healthcare (OSACH)
  • Share daily Mental Health Awareness tips with one-minute videos from:

We hope your organization will join in the 13th Annual Canada's Healthy Workplace Month® celebration. For ideas, activities, and strategies for October and beyond, visit Let's value our people so our people will value their workplace!

Four ways your organization can participate in CHWM:

  • Register for CHWM and receive tools to help you with your healthy workplace efforts and measure your team's progress
  • Submit a healthy workplace initiative completed in 2013 and share it with others by being featured on the CHWM website for a year
  • Challenge yourself and your colleagues with Weekly Activities that are fun and can help to make your organization healthier and happier
  • Register here to learn about Mental Health at Work® Essentials, a free webinar on October 21 at 2 pm.

Learn how your organization can be recognized and certified for Healthy Workplace® and Mental Health at Work®. Introduce your leadership team to the Excellence Canada Standards and Certification process that fits your organization's strategic needs:

Healthy Workplace®
Mental Health at Work®
Excellence, Innovation and Wellness

CHWM is funded with great appreciation through the generous support of the following sponsoring organizations:

Presenter: Great-West Life
Champions of Excellence: Great-West Life, Sun Life Financial
Benefactors: Bell, Ricoh Canada
Advocate Sponsor: Manulife Financial
Supporter Sponsors: Hill+Knowlton Strategies
Industry: Calian, OTIP RAEO, Power Stream, and VIA Rail
Media Sponsor: Postmedia Network and YourWorkplace

About Excellence Canada
Excellence Canada is an independent, not-for-profit organization that is committed to advancing organizational excellence across Canada. Since 1992, Excellence Canada has helped thousands of organizations become cultures of continuous quality improvement and industry role models, through its four-level Progressive Excellence Program.

As a national authority on Organizational Quality and Mental Health at Work®, it provides excellence frameworks, standards, and independent verification and certification to organizations of all sizes and in all sectors. It is also the custodian and adjudicator of the Canada Awards for Excellence program, of which the patron is His Excellency, the Right Honourable David Johnston, C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D., Governor General of Canada.

About Great-West Life
Great-West Life and its subsidiaries, London Life and Canada Life, offer a broad portfolio of financial and benefit plan solutions, and serve the financial security needs of more than 12 million people across Canada. Responsible and ethical management is an intrinsic value of the companies and is essential to long-term profitability and value creation. As an Imagine Caring Company supporting the principles of corporate citizenship and benchmarks for community investment established by Imagine Canada, the companies donate a minimum of one per cent of average pre-tax profits to non-profit, charitable and community organizations each year. Learn more about the organization's corporate social responsibility.

The Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace supports initiatives and research, and develops tools and resources, designed to help with the prevention, intervention and management of workplace mental health issues. All of the Centre's tools and resources are available in English and French to anyone, anywhere, and at no charge at

*Ipsos Reid 2012 survey on Depression in the Workplace commissioned by the Great West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace. All survey results are available on the Centre's website at

Image with caption: "Excellence Canada - Canada's Healthy Workplace Month (CNW Group/Excellence Canada)". Image available at:

SOURCE: Excellence Canada

For further information:

Karen Jackson
Advisor, Healthy Workplace Strategies
Excellence Canada
(416) 251-7600 x250

Marlene Klassen
Great-West Life, Media and Public Relations
(204) 946-7705


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