Adult colouring books were among the various activities as Bruce Telecom held an anxiety and stress day during Mental Health Week this month.

“We got a lot of feedback,” says Jackie Arnold, human resources manager at Bruce Telecome. “[Employees] just really appreciated us opening up the conversation, providing them with tools, there were a couple heartfelt ‘I appreciate it, this is a great company to work for, thank you[s].'”

The initiatives started with an introduction to mental health, with online surveys and fact sheets. It was followed by a physical health day, where the organization provided diabetes screening to employees, and an anxiety and stress day, where the organization provided adult colouring books to employees.

Later in the week, Bruce Telecom had a day focused on happiness and individual participation, as well as a TED talk. It also provided resources from the Not Myself Today campaign, which aims to de-stigmatize mental illness in the workplace.

Read: How to engage employees in Mental Health Week

The week of mental health awareness is in addition to the continued availability of the Bruce Telecom’s health and wellness program, which garnered the organization the Health and Wellness Program Award for an organization with less than 1,000 employees at Benefits Canada‘s 2015 Workplace Benefits Awards.

The program had been introduced following a stressful period for the organization when there was a possibility it would be acquired by another communications company, Eastlink. The proposed acquisition fell through in mid-2014.

“We realized that people were going to take sick leave because they were stressed and we just tried to make it very employee focused,” says Arnold, describing the program as highly focused on employee support and engagement rather than traditional metrics.

Read: Case study: How Bruce Telecom’s focus on wellness saved $136,000

Arnold also says the award meant a lot to Bruce Telecom and to employees, especially in the wake of such a stressful period for the company. “It was a really big thing for people to get [the award], even our employees were happy to be recognized given that it had been a challenging year,” says Arnold.

“They just really appreciated the support the company provided them through that period of time, but also to be recognized for what we can do as a company.”

Do you think that your organization, or one you know of, has developed and implemented a program that supports its employees and makes them proud? The 2016 Workplace Benefits Awards are now open for nominations.

Read: Who are the winners of the 2015 Workplace Benefits Awards?

VIDEO: Interview with Jackie Arnold, human resources manager at Bruce Telecom

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

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