Resources

Activity Ideas and Kits – Stress and Mental Health

Have That Talk: Promote Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace

The Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace Standard has been available now for four years.  Some workplaces dove in, adopted the Standard and created a comprehensive implementation plan very early on.  Other workplaces are taking small, progressive steps forward.  Regardless of how fast or slow your organization is moving on this issue, a key [...]

Encourage Employees to Gauge Their Stress

Stress seems to be commonplace today and for some they where it like a badge of honour.  Stress can contribute to so many other health issues that it is important for employees to pause and take the time to assess just how much stress they are experiencing.  There are several tests that you can make [...]

Support Stressed Out Employees to Develop an Action Plan

The Psychological Foundation of Canada has developed a website to support individuals who want to get a handle on reining in their stress. Consider sharing this on-line resource with your employees.  Their is no cost and it is based on research evidence. The website, called Stress Strategies, will give individuals examples of successful strategies adopted by [...]

Help Employees Tackle Fatigue

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health Safety has a resources that you can share with your employees that will help them identify whether or not they are dealing with the effects of fatigue and what they can do to make it better.  There is a webpage full of information and a short 4 minute podcast [...]

“Work With Us” – A Program to Support Employees with Depression and/or Arthritis

The Mood Disorders Society of Canada and the Arthritis Society have teamed up to create a program to support employees living with depression and/or arthritis.  The program offers a variety of ways in which to get involved–customized presentations, on-line support, videos and webinars and other downloadable resources.  For more information visit their website. Source: Peterborough [...]

Support Employees Who Are Pregnant or New Parents

Have you made your workplace family-friendly?  Choosing to have a child means taking a number of things into consideration.  One of those things is how well does the workplace support workers who are pregnant or returning to work after the baby is born.  Not every workplace is the same and their may be risks to [...]

Support Employees to be Active Winter Commuters

Once the snow flies and ice builds up on sidewalks, employees who walk to work or during their breaks may decide to drive to work and stay indoors.  Encourage employees to remain active commuters throughout the winter months.  Share these tips from Peterborough Green Up: http://www.peterboroughmoves.com/commuter-tips.  What can the workplace do?  Some workplaces have implemented [...]

Working Life: A Documentary Tool Kit about Mental Health in the Workplace

Sky Works Charitable Foundation, based in Toronto, has created a tool kit for workplaces to use that addresses mental health in the workplace.  The kit includes a 37 minute documentary video featuring individuals who have lived with a family member’s mental illness and, for some, their own.  Their stories highlight the different ways that workplaces choose to deal with mental [...]

Promote the Registered Disability Savings Plan

The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) helps people with disabilities and their families save for the future. To help participants save, the Government will pay a matching grant of up to $3,500 a year on your contributions. They will also pay a bond of up to $1,000 a year into the RDSP’s of low-income and [...]

Support Employees with Mental Illness

Many employees living with mental illness can live very productive work lives but they need support from their employers.  In addition to workplace policies and programs, support employees to take charge of their health by encouraging them to use a new on-line resource from the Mood Disorders Association of Canada called Mental Health M.A.P. - My Action Plan.  [...]

Managing Emotions in the Workplace

As a manager, HR professional, union steward, and/or workplace wellness champion, you have likely encountered a colleague or employee who is experiencing strong emotions.  Whether they are angry, overwhelmed, sad, or frustrated, it is important to know how to interact with the employee in an empathetic way.  The research is clear that managers who show empathy, benefit [...]

Returning to Work After Baby

Heading back to work after a parental or maternity leave can be very challenging.  To help employees transition back to work, consider sharing with them a new resource from Best Start: Ontario’s Maternal Newborn and Early Child Development Resource Centre. The 20-page booklet contains information on choosing child care services, work and breastfeeding, planning time, establishing [...]

Health and Management Leadership

Although the health and well-being of your employees can be tackled through lifestyle messaging around eating well, being active, quitting smoking, and so on, the greatest impact you can have on workplace health is managing your employees well.  The Canadian Centre for Management Development’s Roundtable on Workplace Well-Being produced a document that contains practical information and assessment tools.  One tool helps managers to [...]

Learn about the Changes to CPP–and Share It With Your Employees

Starting on January 1, 2011, the government has made changes to the Canada Pension Plan.  For more information, please visit http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/isp/cpp/postrtrben/main.shtml Share this information with your employees.  Consider hosting a lunch and learn and invite a representative from Service Canada to speak about the changes. Source:  Peterborough County-City Health Unit

Making It Work – A CMHA Program

With one in four Canadians dealing with a mental illness at some point in their lives, many of us can say that we know someone who has dealt with stigma and the desire to contribute to society but only meets up with roadblocks.  With proper supports, an individual living with a mental illness can be a valuable employee.  Be [...]

Stress Test (Kit)

A brief questionnaire that addresses the signs and symptoms of stress serves as an effective, convenient tool for employees who wish to assess their stress levels.  Test results that indicate an unhealthy level of stress may encourage employees to seek necessary services, such as counseling or other supports. The Stress Test is a basic instrument [...]

Capture the Moment (Kit)

Capture the Moment is a simple activity that provides employees the opportunity to share their favourite stress-relieving hobbies and past-times with their fellow employees.  The activity emphasizes the importance and variety of stress management strategies.   Employees who are interested in participating must submit a work-appropriate photograph of themselves enjoying their favourite activities.  Staff will cast [...]

Hobby Fair (Kit)

The Hobby Fair encourages employees to share the interests or activities that they enjoy outside of work with their fellow employees.  Hobbies and interests that are unrelated to work often play an essential role in good health.  Importantly, these activities help relieve stress. Coordinators should host this event in a large, open area, where each [...]

Tuning Into Workplace Culture: A Practical Guide for Employers

The Health at Work Committee of Peterborough recently published a resource for employers that addresses organizational culture.  The following is the Table of Contents for the Guide: INTRODUCTION SECTION 1:  Comprehensive Workplace Wellness SECTION 2:  Organizational Culture Basics SECTION 3:  Assessing Culture SECTION 4:  Assessment Tools SECTION 5:  Taking Action: Next Steps SECTION 6:  Strategies [...]

Relax Fax (Kit)

Group faxes, e-mails, memos, and newsletters are great ways of spreading the word about health-related programming in and around the workplace.  Use the fax machine to send a series of regular faxes or e-mails regarding stress management. Content can include information about stress, strategies for managing stress, and workplace or community- based opportunities for employees looking [...]

His & Hers Health Fair

Organize a Health Fair at your workplace. Invite organizations to provide a display or handouts that introduce employees to the issues related to healthy eating, staying active, and maintaining vitality throughout life. Approach different organizations for resources.  Organizations could include your local Health Unit, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canadian Mental Health Association, Canadian Diabetes Association, or the [...]

Declutter Day

Some of our stress is due to many competing demands.  And, sometimes, those demands are staring us in the face–piles of files on our desks, a stack of voicemail messages and many e-mails.  A cluttered desk or desktop may signal a cluttered mind!  When employees spend time looking for a document or a phone number, that’s time that could [...]

Stress Management Month

Offer a seminar series that features personal stress reduction techniques.  Some topics might include deep muscle relaxation, visualization, basic meditation, exercise, and the role of pets in stress reduction.   Source:  Peterborough County-City Health Unit

Cabin Fever Reliever

During the drab winter months, it’s not uncommon that people feel a little down in the dumps.  To help combat the winter blues, offer seminars on such topics such as Seasonal Affective Disorder, indoor air quality, humour, indoor winter activities, or the use of indoor plants in stress management.   Source:   Peterborough County-City Health Unit

Laughter is the Best Medicine

It’s true—laughter reduces stress hormones and provides a welcome emotional and physical release.  To encourage laugher and light-heartedness in the workplace, post a “Joke Board” where employees can submit their favourite work-appropriate jokes and puns.  Or, attach a “Joke of the Day” to memos and faxes.   Source:  Brant County Health Unit

Host Screenings of Fun, Work-Appropriate Films

Screen classic slapstick comedies by Laurel & Hardy, the Three Stooges, and The Marx Brothers, or choose from among more modern films. Run the event in a boardroom or lunchroom and serve popcorn.   Source:  Peterborough County-City Health Unit

Consider Offering On-Site Massage Therapy

Some workplaces arrange for a massage therapist to visit their workplace once a week or once a month.  Employees sign up in advance.  If possible, cover the cost.  If that isn’t possible, consider subsidizing the cost.  Encouraging employees to get massages prior to a problem developing will help prevent injuries and positively affect the workplace bottom line.  [...]

Casual Dress Days

Introduce a casual dress day of the week or month as a tool to reduce stress. Obtain support from management and publicize the day as a method to reduce stress.  Consider asking employees to donate a loonie for the privilege and then use the money for other wellness initiatives.   Source:  Peterborough County-City Health Unit

Encourage Employees to Assess Their Mental Health

Help reduce the stigma around mental health and encourage your employees to assess their status.  There are a number of free, on-line assessment tools that you could promote to your employees.  Here are three that we know of: Mental Health Works provides a free on-line emotional wellness survey tool that you and your employees can [...]

A League of Their Own

Encourage physical activity and athletics among employees by helping to establish workplace sports leagues or walking clubs.  As the employer, you are in a position to take the lead.  Reserve outdoor recreational areas, create rosters, and provide sports equipment.  Just make sure to offer a variety of options for employees of different ages and abilities. [...]

Foster Mentoring Relationships

Initiate a mentoring program where experienced workers are partnered with inexperienced ones. Experienced workers can share their knowledge and act as trainers or consultants to new employees. New employees can assist experienced employees with learning new technological skills, and assist with physical aspects of the job. Locally, the Workplace Integration Centre has a mentoring program as well.  Visit Workplace Integration Program for more information.   In [...]

Offer Conflict Resolution Training

A major source of stress at work can be due to the conflicts we experience with a co-worker or boss.  Offer a session on conflict resolution so that employees can learn strategies for working with colleagues in a respectful, stress-free environment.  Ensure that managers have obtained advanced training in this area so they can assist in mediating conflicts. [...]

Tailor Stress Management Strategies to Specific Positions

Hold seminars on stress that apply to a target population. For example, hold a seminar that is specifically designed for secretaries or management that proposes stress management strategies related to these employees’ needs. Select someone to run the seminar with expertise in that target field. Customizing each seminar for the group in attendance usually results [...]

Just How Stressed Out Are You?

Distribute self-screening tools to employees to help them determine their current stress level and shed a light on workplace triggers that exacerbate their stress.  Encourage employees to share the results with one  another in an effort to reduce stress and foster helpful relationships.   Source:  Brant County Health Unit

Active Workplace Teams

Form workplace teams or hold family events to support increased levels of physical activity as well as the development of healthy relationships between employees and between family members. Try bowling, golf or softball. Also, consider forming groups for activities like cycling, Tai Chi, regular daily stretching or aerobics. Encourage walking groups, dancing groups or recreational [...]

Seek Feedback from Employees

Listen carefully to employees’ concerns regarding tense, uncomfortable, or hostile relationships at work.  This input may help supervisors, human resources personnel, or EAP staff diffuse the situation before it becomes critical.   Source:  Brant County Health Unit

Provide Staff with Outdoor Recreation Space

Encourage employees to use this space for physical activity before, during, or after work.  Given the size and suitability of the area, you may also want to provide sports equipment, such as soccer balls, volleyball nets, etc; or, encourage employees to bring these supplies from home. Source:  Brant County Health Unit

Feature Interactive Displays or Bulletin Boards in High-Traffic Areas

Colorful and attractive displays on nutrition and heathy eating easily draw the attention of employees.  Create posters or bulletin boards that advertise healthier  meal choices, healthy tips for food preparation, and favourite healthy recipes.  The same strategy can be used for many other topics including being active, being smoke free, responsible drinking, reducing stress, shiftwork, [...]

Create a Childcare and Respite Care Bulletin Board

Invite employees to post contact information for individuals and organizations they trust to look after their children and loved ones.  For someone looking for childcare or respite care, this referral information could go a long way. Source: Brant County Health Unit