In Canada 500,000 people will miss work in any given week due to mental health issues or illness, so in 2017 our Canadian offices made the Not Myself Today campaign a talking point
Almost half of all workers in Canada say that they’ve experienced mental health difficulties. There has never been a more pressing need for greater support and awareness around this important, but often avoided, topic.
The Not Myself Today initiative is organised by Partners for Mental Health, part of the Canadian Mental Health Association. It aims to inspire businesses to shine a light on mental health problems in the workplace and to provide help. Coinciding with national Mental Health Awareness Week, 1-5 May, our business in Canada used the campaign to start conversations amongst colleagues on the subject.
Colleagues were encouraged to wear buttons reflecting whether they felt good or overwhelmed and stressed. A network of seventeen campaign champions, online articles, social media and daily, anonymous, mental health quizzes helped stimulate conversation. One employee commented online, “this subject has been left in silence too long and it's not a subject to be ashamed to discuss or support. This is another reason I am proud to work for such a great organization. “
RSA takes the responsibility to support employees suffering from mental health problems seriously. Our aim is to create understanding, openness and discussion of mental health issues in a way that cuts out any stigma. We want to foster a safe, supportive work environment for all, where no one suffers in silence.
To that end, we provide employees with access to a portal full of tools and resources to support better mental health. Prompted by the success of the Not Myself Today campaign, we continue to publish monthly wellness intranet guides and mental health reminders.