Global experts gather to talk about workplace mental health
I was honoured to have the opportunity to participate in conversations about workplace mental health and psychological health and safety with a lineup of global experts (pictured above) over the past week in Toronto. Delegates from Canada, Australia, Sweden, New Zealand and the U.K. came together to open dialogue, share and learn from one another about the diversity of perspectives on psychological health and safety in the workplace. The gathering of these great minds was part of the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (@IIMHL or #IIMHL) – a unique international collaborative that focuses on mental health and addictions.
There were many great “aha” moments that I shared on Twitter (@mightywriteca or #iimhl) during our two-day session and I still have over 25 pages of notes to compile! My colleague Mary Ann Baynton presented the highlights from our discussions including strategies for accelerating change towards mental health and well-being and inclusion and building leadership for the future at the IIMHL conference in Vancouver.
A key takeaway for me was the importance of embedding psychological health and safety into everything we do in our workplaces. This includes how we treat one another (including having one another’s backs), how work is assigned and managed, how we manage and support employees and co-workers with mental illness and ultimately, how we work to keep people at work. A theme I loved was the idea of putting recovery in front of leaders, managers and others who have the responsibility of advocating for and supporting employees who may be experiencing mental health issues. This speaks to the power of peer support and making it safe for those with lived experience of mental health concerns to talk about it.
The youngster in the photo wasn’t a delegate but jumped into the photo and we all welcomed her. I thought it was an excellent example of why we’re doing this – To advocate for inclusion of all workers and the importance of working toward healthier workplaces for the future.