Experts from Morneau Shepell and Bell offer strategic solutions
TORONTO, Feb. 9, 2012 /CNW/ - Hundreds of business leaders met in
Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver yesterday to discuss the issue of
mental health in the workplace and what can be done about it. Morneau
Shepell, in partnership with Bell Let's Talk, hosted Employers Connect, a multi-city event for workplace mental health in Canada's three largest
"This is an opportunity for us as workplace representatives and
employers to speak with each other, share best practices and
experiences, start a dialogue, and most importantly, promote action in
workplace mental health," said Paula Allen, Vice-President, Health
Solutions and Practice Leader, Consulting, Morneau Shepell.
The Toronto event featured keynote speaker Ron Ellis, former member of
the Toronto Maple Leafs, who spoke about his battles with depression,
and subsequent hospitalizations, after retiring from hockey. In
comparing how physical illness and mental illness are treated, he told
about the time former Leafs captain Mats Sundin sustained an eye
injury, and the team flew him by Lear jet to see the best eye
specialist they could find. But it was different when Ellis abruptly
retired in 1975 because of depression.
"The Leafs didn't even suggest I talk to the team doctor," Ellis said.
"That's not a judgement at all. They let one of their top producers go.
It was because of a lack of knowledge about an invisible injury. Today
NHL teams have mental health specialists on staff. We've come a long
way. At that time I didn't realize that depression was hunting me
Allen referred to the 2011 Conference Board of Canada study on mental
health in the workplace, which said that 44 per cent of workers had
experienced a mental health issue. Said Allen: "How many organizations
would feel comfortable not having a strategy for something that impacts 44 per cent of your
To see what else Allen and Ellis had to say, please go to: http://youtu.be/2b1VSfuF13Y
In Vancouver, the guest speaker was Alex Mitchell, Director of Community
Partnerships, Canucks Sports & Entertainment, who discussed the
organization's work with raising awareness of mental health in the
workplace, and also about former Canucks player Rick Rypien, who
suffered from depression and committed suicide last summer.
The Montreal meeting featured keynote speaker Georges Sabongui, a former
military psychologist who has done stress-related research with
Canada's Armed Forces.
At all three locations, industry experts explained what employers can do
to combat mental health in the workplace. Jean-Marc Mackenzie, Senior
Vice-President, Health Management, Morneau Shepell, outlined the steps
employers can take:
Support a practical understanding of mental health in the workplace.
Train managers in how to deal with it, including confronting the stigma
associated with workplace mental health.
Identify at-risk employees and follow up with a needs assessment.
Provide support at work during recovery.
Morneau Shepell is the largest Canadian-based firm offering benefits and
pension consulting, outsourcing, as well as health and productivity
solutions. The company works with clients to develop end-to-end
insights and solutions that integrate with their business strategies to
achieve results. Through Benefits and Health Solutions Consulting,
Pension Consulting, Health Management, Administration Solutions and
Shepell•fgi's Employee Assistance Program, Morneau Shepell helps
clients reduce costs, increase employee productivity, and improve their
competitive positions by supporting their employees' financial
security, health and well-being.
Established in 1966, Morneau Shepell serves over 8,000 clients, ranging
from small businesses to some of the largest corporations and
associations in North America. With approximately 2,500 employees in
offices across North America, we provide services to organizations
across Canada, in the United States and around the globe.
Morneau Shepell Inc. is a publicly traded company on the Toronto Stock
Exchange (TSX). For more information, visit www.morneaushepell.com.
SOURCE Morneau Shepell Ltd.
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