By: Sarah Haque
It affects all of us.
Public Health Agency of Canada findings indicate that 1 in 3 of us will experience mental illness in our lifetime. So chances are someone we care about might be suffering right now.
Today, I want to talk about the importance of being aware of mental health issues in our work lives.
Research shows that half a million Canadians miss work every year because of their mental health. Disorders like anxiety, depression and insomnia, if left untreated, can lead to end of life.
Awareness and support are critical in saving lives.
MCIS offers its staff members access to Humancare, an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that offers support 24/7 online support. For more information, please visit www.humanacare.com.
Other forms of support can include healthy break activities such as meditation sessions or planning a healthy meal together. These initiatives can give us all healthy breaks from work and help us to relax, energize, or refocus.
Getting the help we all need is an important part of treating mental disorders. So here’s how we can recognize the signs of mental distress in family, friends, or coworkers:
- significant mood changes
- withdrawal from family, friends, or favourite activities
- changes in eating or sleeping patterns
- missing work or school more often
- new or increased alcohol or drug use
- talk of being a burden, or being in unbearable pain
- talk of, or having a plan for, suicide
If we notice these changes in ourselves or someone we care about, we should reach out for help. If we are worried about someone, we can lend an ear, share our own journey, and connect them to local services.
We must remember mental health isn’t only about avoiding crisis situations. It’s about taking steps toward holistic health goals.
We all deal with the ongoing stress of balancing work with our personal lives. So we must join hands in encouraging our friends and family to speak up and make changes.
For more information on where to find mental health support please visit:
The Medical Clinic for Person-Centred Psychotherapy (OHIP covered)
Medical Psychotherapy Association Canada (OHIP covered)
Toronto Psychoanalytic Society & Institute (MDs are OHIP covered)
Bounce Back created by CMHA accepts referrals to the service by family doctors, nurse practitioners, psychiatrists, social worker or case manager.
For paid psychotherapy, affordable options are available at these organizations:
For immediate crisis supports, they please reach out to the following agencies:
Gerstein Crisis Centre
Assaulted Women’s Helpline
Toronto Rape Crisis Centre
Victim Services Toronto
Ontario Addiction, Mental Health & Problem Gambling Services
For peer support related to mental health:
LGBT Youth line
Here is some other information that may be useful.
Free Online Courses:
Mental Health and Resilience During COVID-19 (CTRI webinar)
Mental Health Works (free webinars re: workplace mental health during COVID-19)
And finally, some helpful resources for the mental health of staff:
YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZ-IgdKJL2sInZEuxeruF7w
An organization called ANBU (Abuse Never Becomes Us), based in Toronto, has also created the attached resources for accessing mental health support safely while at home during the pandemic.