Mental Health Resources for Workplaces

Managing Through COVID-19: an Employer's Guide

This is an unprecedented time of change for all of us. Some workplaces are needing to drastically adapt the way they do business, while others have had to close temporarily.  Even though the current situation is new, you can still use proven mental health resources and strategies to support your employees.                                                 

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Employer's Guide

 

 The National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace provides all workplaces with guidance on how to protect the mental health of their employees.  This guide provides recommendations on how to protect your employee’s mental health during the time of COVID-19.

 

 

Healthy Workplace Month Calendar

Every year we celebrate Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month during the month
of October. This year is no exception and, with the COVID-19 pandemic creating
changes in working situations, it is especially relevant to discuss the importance
of a healthy work environment.
We all have a role to play in creating a healthy workplace and there are many
tools and resources available to support you. This calendar was designed to
highlight some of the amazing (and free!) resources and to provide you with
some tips to maintain good mental health during these unprecedented times.

Webinar: Protecting the Mental Health of Employees During COVID-19

 

Factsheets

Managing Through COVID-19: Protecting your employees' mental health while working from home

Printable version of Protecting your employees' mental health while working from home [PDF 236]

During COVID-19 many workplaces have made significant changes to how they work. For some workplaces, this means having employees working from home. Teleworking allows employees to be productive and continue to contribute to their employer. However, working from home can be challenging for some. 
Many employees may not have a designated office space or the tools and resources they need to work from home. Many employees will be balancing childcare or other caregiver roles and responsibilities. Still others might find themselves working at home with no interaction with any of their loved ones. Now, more than ever, is the time to protect your employees’ mental health and safety.

  1. Ensure your employees have the tools and resources they need to continue to do their job – For many employees, working from home is a new experience. Ensure that your employees have the tools that they need to continue to do their jobs to the best of their abilities.
  2. Acknowledge the work and effort that your employees are putting into adapting to this new situation - Many people find change to be difficult. This current situation is a change that no one anticipated, and it is important to acknowledge and thank your employees for their efforts.
  3. Acknowledge the importance of the sacrifices your employees are making by working from home – Let your employees know that you see and acknowledge the challenges they are going through by teleworking. However, also let them know that there is meaning and purpose behind why they are doing this. We are all in this together.
  4. Encourage patience and humour from all your employees while adjusting to telework – This current situation is not normal, and everyone copes with stress and change differently. Remind your employees to be patient with themselves and their co-workers.
  5. Ensure your employees know how to access mental health support– Let your employees know about existing EAP or EFAP programs that your workplace provides.

For additional supports they can call the Distress Centre of Ottawa at 613-238-3311 in English or Tel-Aide Outaouais at 613-741-6433 in French. For more information and resources visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca/COVIDMentalHealth.

For more information, visit our Managing Through COVID-19 An Employer’s Guide.

Managing Through COVID-19: Protecting the mental health of essential workers

Printable version of Protecting the mental health of essential workers [PDF 235 KB]

The COVID-19 pandemic is a challenging time for many people in our community. There is a lot of worry and concern about getting sick, loved ones getting sick, and an uncertainty about the future. However, our essential workers, from frontline healthcare, to grocery store workers, to garbage collectors, to postal workers are continuing to go to work to support our community. We all thank you! 

Now, more than ever, it is vital to make sure that as an employer or leader you are protecting the mental health and safety of essential workers. Here are some suggestions of how to support your employees.

  1. Set up your workplace to allow for physical distancing – Be clear and direct about the steps you are taking to keep employees and members of the community you serve safe.
  2. Follow recommendations from trusted sources such as Ottawa Public Health to ensure that your workplace is taking appropriate precautions – Ottawa Public Health has developed a website that provides up-to-date information to workplaces during the pandemic.
  3. Designate a ‘safe room’ where employees can go – In this time, more than ever, people need to take a step away from this current reality. A quiet space to collect themselves and to take time for themselves can give them the opportunity to decompress and to be able to continue working.
  4. Encourage employees to take their days off – Many people are working long hours during the pandemic. This makes the time that they do take off that much more critical to both their mental and physical health.
  5. Acknowledge the work and dedication that your employees demonstrate – Essential workers of all kinds are showing everyone just how much we rely on them. It is important now, and every day to let them know that they are appreciated, and we are all grateful.
  6. Ensure your employees know how to access mental health support– Let your employees know about existing EAP or EFAP programs that your workplace provides.

For additional supports they can call the Distress Centre of Ottawa at 613-238-3311 in English or Tel-Aide Outaouais at 613-741-6433 in French. For more information and resources visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca/COVIDMentalHealth.

For more information, visit our Managing Through COVID-19: An Employer’s Guide.

 Managing Through COVID-19: Protecting the mental health of employees who were laid off

Printable version of Protecting the mental health of employees who were laid off [PDF 237 KB]

Many workplaces were required to close during the COVID-19 pandemic. This adds a level of uncertainty and worry to an already challenging situation. As a business owner, manager or leader, there are steps you can take to support your employees’ mental health during this time.

  1. Keep your employees informed about new and upcoming changes as much as possible -When people are informed of what changes are coming and how things are being addressed, they are better able to cope with the change.
  2. Communicate openly and honestly about the potential for job loss and any plans in place to support your employees – Transparency is essential to protect the psychological well-being of your staff. People need to know what changes to expect if they are going to be able to develop a plan to manage them.
  3. Inform your employees about the assistance available to them from the FederalProvincial, and Municipal governments – People will feel supported when they know that there are resources available to help them get through this difficult time.
  4. Acknowledge the value of the work that your employees have already contributed to the organization – Demonstrate the value that your employees have contributed to your organization. For example, let them know that the work they have done has benefited their local community, or your organization, or whatever the appropriate example is for your workplace.
  5. Continue to reach out to your employees during this time – Where appropriate, keep in contact with your staff. Keep them informed of any changes that they can expect.
  6. Ensure your employees know how to access mental health support– Let your employees know about existing EAP or EFAP programs that your workplace provides.

For additional supports they can call the Distress Centre of Ottawa at 613-238-3311 in English or Tel-Aide Outaouais at 613-741-6433 in French. For more information and resources, visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca/COVIDMentalHealth.

For more information, visit our Managing Through COVID-19: An Employer’s Guide.

Managing Through COVID-19: Protecting the mental health of employees returning to work

Printable version of Protecting the mental health of employees returning to work [PDF 235 KB]

As workplaces begin to reopen, many people will feel a sense of hope. However, there may also be a level of worry and concern that comes with the reopening. This is especially true for employees returning to work. As a leader in your workplace there are things that you can do to reduce your employee’s anxiousness or concern and help to protect their mental health.

  1. Set up your workplace to allow for physical distancing – Be clear and direct about the steps you are taking to keep employees and members of the community you serve safe.
  2. Follow recommendations from trusted sources such as Ottawa Public Health to ensure that your workplace is taking appropriate precautions – Ottawa Public Health has developed a website that provides up-to-date information to workplaces during the pandemic.
  3. Acknowledge the efforts made by your employees to adapt – In order to protect everyone’s health and safety, changes to the work environment must occur. However, it is important to recognize and appreciate the flexibility and resilience of your employees.
  4. Foster an environment of trust and respect to ensure that employees voice their concerns – Ask your employees to report any concerns they may have about their current working conditions and act on those concerns.
  5. Discuss the possibility of flexible work arrangements – Your employees may be balancing demands in their personal lives that they did not have to before the COVID-19 pandemic. Discuss ways to help balance these demands.
  6. Ensure your employees know how to access mental health support– Let your employees know about existing EAP or EFAP programs that your workplace provides.

For additional supports they can call the Distress Centre of Ottawa at 613-238-3311 in English or Tel-Aide Outaouais at 613-741-6433 in French. For more information and resources visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca/COVIDMentalHealth.

For more information on supporting employees’ mental health, visit our Managing Through COVID-19: An Employer’s Guide.

 

Employer Resources

Information on COVID-19

Mental health resources related to COVID-19

Websites to support workplaces to protect psychological health and safety in the workplace

 Employee Resources

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