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Supporting Mental Health in the Workplace

By Elantis on January 26, 2022

About 1 in 3 Canadians will be affected by a mental illness during their lifetime. While mental health is an ongoing challenge, the need to address mental health – particularly in the workplace – has increased over the past two years. Since 2019, fewer Canadians reported having excellent or very good mental health, and youth in particular have experienced the greatest decline since the pandemic began.

The health and happiness of our staff is critical to us at Elantis. In fact, one of our core values is to focus on people. That’s why we have the following in place to support mental health in the workplace:

  • Building connection. Elantis has a weekly meeting with all staff where we share updates on projects, kudos and thank yous, and perhaps most importantly – memes. This fun and interactive Friday afternoon ritual helps our team relax and decompress after the week’s activities. We also have regular social events both virtually and in person where possible, to maintain connection and build lasting relationships. Our social events have included nature walks, trivia nights, charity events, and a variety of other activities that support mental health.
  • Personal check-ins with all staff. We have regular check-ins with all our staff both formally and informally. Keeping in touch allows our staff to voice questions and concerns, including how they are managing their work-life balance and addressing risk of burnout. These check-ins are more than perfunctory scrums or one-directional performance reviews. We take the time to really listen to how our staff are doing and address their feedback. This one-on-one time is perhaps one of the most important supports for mental health in the workplace.
  • Flexibility and inclusion. We respect that everyone’s situation is different and that a person’s needs may change over time. That is why the above check-ins are so valuable. Based on these discussions with our team members, we provide flexibility for scheduling, working from home, and accommodate childcare or other personal commitments.
  • Unlimited sick days. Elantis does not limit the number of days off that someone can take when they are unwell – whether they are suffering from physical or mental illness. The important thing is that our employees are healthy.
  • Promoting work-life balance. Elantis encourages all staff to fully make use of their allotted vacation days, as workplace burnout is a significant mental health stressor. We also ask all staff to arrange for coverage while they are on vacation, so they can completely disconnect from email and messaging platforms.
  • Onsite fitness facilities. Physical and mental health are often closely linked. Elantis’ Edmonton office has fitness facilities onsite that are free for staff use. Many of our staff make use of the fitness facilities at lunch or after work, providing a healthy break from their desks.
  • Supports for mental health. The health coverage for all Elantis staff includes an employee and family assistance program. The program provides confidential and professional counselling and coaching services to employees and their families.

One of the biggest hurdles for anyone struggling with mental illness is overcoming the stigma attached to it. We need to speak about mental health openly and authentically. In the video below, our staff shared a few of their thoughts on managing mental health both in the workplace and outside of it.

 

Now more than ever, mental health matters and every action counts. Elantis is proud to support Bell Let’s Talk Day on January 26th. Bell Let’s Talk raises awareness about mental illness and provides funds towards mental health initiatives in Canada.

On January 26th, use #BellLetsTalk and keep the conversation going about mental health.

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