(photo credit: Memorable and Vibrant Okanagan Photography)
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Kelowna has recognized three Okanagan businesses for their commitment to workplace mental health. The 5th Annual Mentally Healthy Workplace Awards took place this week, celebrating employers that make employee’s mental health a priority.
The businesses were honoured Tuesday morning for valuing Clear Leadership and Expectations, Growth and Development, and Psychological Support when it comes to their employees and the workplace culture. Touchstone Law received the award for small business while Two Hat Security was awarded for medium business. Starbucks took the honours in the large business category.
CMHA Kelowna Executive Director Shelagh Turner says there were a significant number of businesses from a diverse range of sectors that submitted nominations this year, an indicator that mental health in the workplace is fast becoming a priority. “The quantity and strength of the applications is increasing each year.” Turner says while there were a range of ways each workplace was addressing mental health, there was one common factor amongst all of them, “Each business has leaders who care deeply about their people and do extraordinary things to ensure their employees are healthy and effective.”
Keynote speaker Dr. Joti Samra wrapped up the morning providing practical tips and actionable steps for businesses to get started, “Inform yourself on what a mentally healthy workplace is, identify leaders in your organization who can champion this effort and then provide the tools to staff so they can build their resiliency.”
Dr. Samra is a founding member of the team that developed the National Standard for Psychological Health & Safety in the Workplace – establishing the 13 Factors that are used across the country as a best practice for workplace mental health. The factors are also the criteria by which CMHA Kelowna’s Mentally Healthy Workplace Awards were determined.
According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, in any given week more than 500,000 Canadians are unable to work due to mental health problems or illnesses and 70% of workplace disability claims are attributed to mental illness.