As Bell Canada continues to roll out its annual Bell Let’s Talk campaign, the telecommunications company is hosting a number of mental health and wellness events for employees.

The organization is offering opportunities for employees to attend in-person speaking events or watch them online through a platform called LifeSpeak. “That is very, very popular because it allows employees, on their own time, to learn about things that are of interest to them,” says Mary Deacon, chair of Bell Let’s Talk, noting the live speaker events are also turned into webinars so employees who aren’t able to attend or watch them live can catch up later on.

Read: Morneau Shepell, Bell host workplace mental health event

Communications with employees is also aimed at promoting participation in the campaign’s five simple ways to end mental-health stigma, which includes: language matters, educate yourself, be kind, listen and ask, and talk about it.

“We all have the ability to be part of the solution, because stigma is about behaviours and attitudes we hold that develop over generations,” says Deacon. “It’s so important because the majority of people with mental-health issues say the reason they don’t seek help is for fear of stigma and discrimination. So eradicating stigma is a really fundamental first step in making it easier for people who need help to reach out and get it. Bell Let’s Talk Day and the whole campaign leading up to it is all about raising awareness and reducing stigma.”

Read: Bell Canada launches new mental-health support programs

Bell Canada has engaged employees in mental-health initiatives since 2010 when the Bell Let’s Talk campaign was launched because the company “felt it was imperative we lead by example, that we walk the walk,” according to Deacon.

The initiatives and programs are broad, but Deacon considers the most important one to be a mandatory mental-health training course for all managers, which includes facts and myths about mental health, how to identify early warning signs and how to support an employee when they’re off work.

Bell Canada also worked with its employee assistance provider and Queen’s University to create a certificate program for managers in workplace mental health. “That program is now available to any employer across the country,” says Deacon, noting at last count there were 341 organizations in Canada using the training program.

Read: How Bell trains its managers in mental health

“It’s a great way for companies to take action without having to reinvent the wheel and invest their time and resources,” she adds. “That’s one of the most impactful things that we’ve done, in terms of the knowledge our managers have to better support their team members.

“Creating a mentally healthy and safe workplace, research shows, is good for employees’ well-being, happiness, retention, recruitment and productivity. The way I describe it is, it’s good for people to be well and happy at work, and it’s good for business to have employees who are well and happy at work.”

Read: Toronto hospital marks Bell Let’s Talk Day with anti-bullying program

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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