CGI Group Inc. is promoting Mental Health Awareness Month for employees through multiple initiatives, including an event to share experiences and a new ‘leading with compassion’ tool.

The information technology company recently hosted an event that provided employees with the opportunity to share challenges they’ve had to overcome and how compassion has changed their lives.

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“We believe [compassion] drives our interactions as well as our actions,” says Maya Volpato, CGI’s manager expert of corporate services and workplace mental-health specialist. “Our ability to act on empathy in our individual lives manifests itself in how we show up to work. It shapes our organizational norms, our values and our leadership practices, which influences our mental health and well-being and creates a ripple effect into our communities.”

In addition, the company’s podcast includes an episode in which its director and president of its mental-health network discuss the importance of the network and its connection to the theme of compassion. CGI also developed a tool that helps its employees demonstrate compassion in their everyday practices, adds Volpato.

Throughout May, the company is making donations to mental-health organizations through its employee recognition program: for every employee recognized this month, CGI will donate $10, to a maximum of $30,000. “We’re practicing compassion through our employee recognition platform, not only internally but also through the recognition in our communities.”

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The ongoing development of mental-health support is important for prevention and early intervention, she says. “Investing in mental-health supports can serve as a preventive measure against the exacerbation of mental-health conditions. Early identification and intervention can help individuals maintain their well-being over time, potentially reducing the incidence of more severe mental-health issues.”

Once employees receive the mental-health support they need, they’re more likely to remain engaged and productive and less likely to take time off work, adds Volpato.

“We want [people] to be equipped to navigate the challenges and changes that occur both in their personal and professional lives. The well-being support employees receive within the workforce helps them lead fulfilling lives, not only internally but externally as well. This benefits employees on a personal level [related to human sustainability] and it contributes to the overall health and sustainability of an organization.”

Read: Expert panel: Employers taking preventative, holistic approach to employee mental health in 2024