New Roundtable Proposes Higher Standards for Employers

B.C. Government Endorses Code of Best Practices

Hon. Ben Stewart, Cabinet Minister responsible for the BC Public Service, says the Roundtable's Code of Best Practices "is valuable for employers aiming to improve the mental health outcomes for their employees." He announced that the Government of British Columbia endorses the Code in principle and has "affiliated itself with the Roundtable's efforts."

"Given the productivity impacts on the national workforce from untreated mental [illnesses] and addictions, we commend your efforts and support the Roundtable initiative," he said.

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Roundtable Chairman Comment

Setting a new standard: why employer good intentions are not enough.

This month a new force comes into being to help employers across Canada strengthen mental health in their workplaces.

The Business Roundtable for Workplace Mental Health will build on the pioneering work done in recent years by the Global Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health and its remarkable leader, Bill Wilkerson) as well as the work within BC by  the BC Business and Economic Roundtable on Mental Health. Bill Wilkerson has retired from active service but has kindly agreed to act as senior counsel to the new Roundtable.

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The Importance of Workplace Mental Health

Over the past five years Canadian employers have begun to “get” the importance of workplace mental health.
Thanks to the work of visionaries like Bill Wilkerson, a senior business executive who led a one-man campaign to show that psychologically healthy workplaces are a business challenge that employers can and should address, a growing number of executives [...]


Implementing The Code

Toolkit for Managers

  1. How mentally healthy is your workplace? Get a Report Card.
  2. How to get mental health awareness training for managers and executives.
  3. Mental health information for employees and families.
  4. Enlisting your Board of Directors.
  5. How employees can assess themselves for depression.
  6. How employees with moderate depression can help themselves.
  7. Tools to promote mental wellness, personal resiliency and work-life balance.
  8. How much is depression costing your organization?

Bottom Line Conference
March 2-3,  2011 - Vancouver

Mental health experts and corporate leaders will be gathering in Vancouver March 2-3 for the 2011 Bottom Line Conference. The theme will be "the psychologically safe workplace".


The importance of mental health
How Do We Adopt
the Code?

Is your organization interested in supporting the Code of Best Practices For Workplace Mental Health? Click here for a report card on your current policies and programs that relate to workplace mental health.

Roundtable founder Bill Wilkerson fulfills his boyhood dream. Story Inside
The importance of mental health

Code of Best Practices For Workplace Mental Health

Workplace mental health is a vital issue that employers can and must address. There are two reasons for this:

  1. In today's economy the capacity of employees to think, be creative and have productive relationships is vital to any organization's performance and success. Financials are a lagging indicator of performance; the leading indicator is people.
  2. Depression and other mental disorders are a leading source of productivity impairment through employee absence and “presenteeism.” Workplaces that recognize and manage depression and eliminate unnecessary anxiety and stress are much more likely to be productive workplaces. Mentally healthy workplaces reduce disability costs and mental pain and increase employee productivity and performance.

Employers who subscribe to this code of best practices will put into effect policies and programs that:

  • Educate employees and their families about mental illness and the need to eliminate the stigma of mental illness. Depression should be treated like any disease. Rule out depression if performance deteriorates;
  • Help employees to acquire work-life skills that increase their mental resiliency;
  • Avoid workplace practices that increase distress;
  • Train managers and supervisors to recognize, manage and assist employees who are experiencing distress from mental illness;
  • Encourage employees with psychiatric illnesses to seek help – and provide help through EAP providers. Employee assistance programs should be aligned with the employer's vision, protocols and mental health goals.
  • Facilitate employees' return to work after treatment with policies that are thoughtfully tailored to the needs of the individual.

Founding Signatories:


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