It was all about celebrating those who are walking the talk at the 4th Annual CMHA Kelowna Mentally Healthy Workplace Awards. The annual event recognizes businesses in the community that are working towards mental health in their workplace.
William & Associations Counselling Services – Mentally Healthy Small Business Winner
TWP Fitness – Mentally Healthy Medium Business Winner
Interior Savings Credit Union – Mentally Healthy Large Business Winner
Three businesses were honoured Tuesday morning for taking leadership in valuing Growth and Development, Balance and Engagement when it came to employees themselves and the workplace environment as a whole. William & Associates Counselling Services received the award for small business while TWP Fitness was awarded for medium business. Interior Savings Credit Union took the honours in the large business category.
Twenty workplaces submitted nominations to receive the distinction as a mentally healthy workplace, more than any other year. “It showed us that mental health in the workplace is becoming a priority,” says CMHA Kelowna Executive Director Shelagh Turner. Turner added she was inspired by this year’s finalists, “As we went through the process of determining the winners it really was a career highlight for me. I thought to myself – these employers, all of them, they really get it. They are doing the work and walking the talk when it comes to mental health for their employees.”
Keynote Speaker retired Lieutenant Colonel Stéphane Grenier wrapped up the morning and drove home the point of valuing employees to the 230 professionals and business leaders in the room. Grenier says if more attention and focus was place on the people in the workplace, the rest will follow. “We put so much emphasis on productivity. If we just switch it around and put the emphasis on people, these people will be productive.”
Grenier, who spent 29 years in the military serving in places like Rwanda, Afghanistan and Kandahar, established a non-clinical and practical mental health program for the Canadian military before retiring in 2012. He is the founder of Mental Health Innovations Consulting and works with organizations to enhance the mental health of employees.
“We have been talking a whole lot about mental health,” says Grenier. “But where it’s going to start changing is when our behaviour starts changing.”
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. Ultimately costing the Canadian economy up to $55 billion each year due to days off work, lost productivity and disability claims.
For more information on some workplace mental health resources click here.