On April 4, two members of Medcan were panelists at the workplace mental health series hosted by Healthy Minds Canada at Telus House in Toronto.
Dr. Gina Di Giulio, Director of Psychology and Janet Ozembloski, Vice President, Legal and Privacy Officer offered suggestions and strategies for organizations on how to be mindful employers.
They both addressed a certain ‘unknowingness’ that may stop well-intended leaders from approaching and addressing important matters related to mental health. With the right approach, they said, organizations and their leaders can help employees thrive.
Early and appropriate intervention is encouraged
Dr. Giulio encouraged workplace leaders to consider their strategy for recognizing the early signs of employee burnout, anxiety and depression. An ideal organization, she said, would have champions of mental health.
These champions are able to have functional conversations that are perhaps more difficult for other people in the organization and can familiarize themselves with the signs of burnout, depression and anxiety. Those three conditions, either alone or in combination, will make up over 70% of the applications for short-term disability leaves from work.
Today’s workplace is like an extended family
Janet Ozembloski spoke to the duty to accommodate.
“We are no longer in an era where people come, do their job and go home. The employer-employee relationship is now like a family. The case law has shown that everything is integrated now. The assumption is that we live in a caring society where there is a duty to accommodate. And the only way you stop accommodating that employee is when you get to the point of undue hardship.”