BGIS Global Integrated Solutions Canada was recognized in the Mental health program category for employers with more than 1,000 employees at the 2022 Workplace Benefits Awards on Oct. 18 for its integrated approach to supporting employees.

In July 2021, the facility management company created its BGIS Balance Committee, comprised of 21 employees from various positions across the country who help champion wellness within the organization.

It also appointed Dana Hurst to the brand-new role of director of wellness to oversee the organization’s mental health and well-being strategy. She says the award win is a testament to BGIS’ hard work. “Winning an award like this will help our organization to further our journey and to take those next steps because it is nice to have that recognition and see the impact that it’s having within the organization.”

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Broadly, BGIS’ wellness program includes virtual health care, an employee assistance program, access to virtual physiotherapy, health and wellness education sessions, fitness reimbursements, virtual yoga and fitness programs, well-being challenges, regular well-being communications and financial wellness assessments.

In terms of mental-health support, the program includes enhanced mental-health practitioner coverage, mental-health pulse surveys and a leader mental-health tool kit. In addition, in the fall of 2021, the organization provided mental-health training for leaders and other employees, which included the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on mental health and how to comfortably begin the conversation with a colleague who may be in mental distress or at risk for suicide.

“We did implement leader mental-health training on a voluntary basis and we had over 70 per cent participate, which I think speaks to [the fact] they’re ready and willing and they want that shift and change,” says Hurst. “They want to be able to support their team members.”

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In 2021, BGIS also launched a global well-being commitment statement, which highlights its commitment to mental well-being. It was endorsed by its global chief executive officer and its regional country leaders.

Indeed, this senior leadership buy-in and the fact that the organization’s mental-health strategy stems right from the top of the organization was likely one of the aspects that stood out to the Workplace Benefits Awards’ judges, says Hurst. “Having that integrated approach, having that C-suite, executive sponsorship — not just one individual, it’s a number of them at the senior leadership — and just getting that buy-in.”