January 26 is Bell Let’s Talk Day and HRPA is joining in on the global conversation on mental health.

Launched in 2010, Bell Let’s Talk Day is an annual mental health initiative that’s focused on how we can support ourselves and those in our community by listening, talking and being there for one another. 

Someone you know is suffering. Someone you work with is struggling. Maybe you’re finding it hard to make it through your day too.

On top of that, the pandemic has impacted every aspect of our lives, including our mental health. As we enter the third year of the pandemic, more and more people are experiencing an even greater decline in their ability to cope with stress, anxiety and depression:

  • In a poll conducted by Angus Reid Institute on Monday, January 24, nearly 50%of Canadians said that they’ve been feeling fatigued, 40% reported feeling frustrated, and 38% indicated that they’ve been anxious. [Footnote 1]
  • The same report findings also show that 1 in 3 Canadians are struggling with their mental health. This is a significant leap from before the new Omicron variant emerged, when 25% of the population reported mental health concerns. [Footnote 2]
  • According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, on any given week, over 500,000 Canadians are unable to go to work due to mental health issues. [Footnote 3]

In one way or another, mental health issues touch us all. Yet, the stigma and discrimination around mental health remains. This stigma stops us from being honest about our challenges, can worsen symptoms, and prevent many people from seeking the help they need.

But society, especially our workplaces, can’t afford to ignore mental health care. When businesses put psychological well-being on the backburner, the result is burnout, loss of focus, absenteeism, lower quality work among employees, and high turnover rates. And the costs are astronomical – estimated at $6 billion in lost productivity for businesses per year. [Footnote 4]

Bell Let’s Talk Day gives HR leaders and employers an opportunity to re-evaluate the measures being taken to address mental health support for employees. Now more than ever is the time to talk about it and ensure the appropriate resources are in place so that HR professionals and employers are well-equipped to handle stress, anxiety and depression, proactively and compassionately in the workplace.

This is how the stigma around mental health is reduced – and it’s how workers feel seen, heard and valued.

Starting the conversation around mental health can be tricky, even for the most seasoned HR professionals. So, we’ve compiled a list of some useful tools and information to help you facilitate your own ongoing discussions about mental health.

Upcoming Events:

Deconstruction: Crafting Inclusive & Equitable Workplaces Micro-Conference (February 8)

Racism and discrimination can trigger a whole host of mental health issues among racialized groups and First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities. [Footnote 5]

Join this micro-conference to understand how you can help create inclusive, equitable and safe workplaces for and with talent from First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities, and for all people in the workforce. Learn more about this event and register.

Caption: Picture of lady in front of a building. Banner reads: "Deconstruction: Crafting Inclusive and Equitable Workplaces Micro-Conference."
Minds Matter: Creating a Mental Health Supportive Workplace (April 4)

Explore approaches you and your organization can take to foster a psychologically safe and supportive workplace. Come prepared to share your best practices too. Register for the webinar.

Tools and Resources:

Bell Let’s Talk Toolkit: Conversation Guides

Download the guides to learn how you can lead the conversation around mental health. Access the toolkit.

Caption: Picture of two people talking. Text on the banner says: "Keep being there, Keep talking."
HRPA – HR Insights, COVID-19 Resources

There is a helpful section on this page dedicated to mental health supports. View the webpage

The National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (the Standard)

This is a set of voluntary recommendations, resources and tools that can help businesses (and HR leaders) advance mental health in the workplace – and prevent any psychological harm at work. Learn more about the Standard.

Mental health and wellness during the COVID-19 pandemic – Mental Health Commission of Canada

Learn more about this resource.

Join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #BellLetsTalk

Today, Bell will donate 5¢ to support Canadian mental health programs for every text, tweet or video using #BellLetsTalk. Watch the Bell Let’s Talk video. Be part of the conversation.


Footnotes:

Footnote 1: view poll from Angus Reid Institute (Jan 24, 2022)

Footnote 2 : view poll from Angus Reid Institute (Jan 24, 2022)

Footnote 3 : view CAMH: Mental Illness and Addiction: Facts and Statistics

Footnote 4 : view MHCC: The Life and Economic Impact of Major Mental Illness in Canada document

Footnote 5: view OHRC: Racial discrimination and mental health in racialized and Aboriginal communities article

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