In honor of the Mental Health Awareness Month of May, Integrated Sustainability would like to take a moment to reflect on corporate culture and staying mentally fit through difficult economic times.
As we all know, many companies have been struggling to stay afloat through the economic downturn of the oil and gas industry. The fear of job instability puts many employees at high risk for anxiety, stress and mental illness. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in four adults experience a diagnosable mental illness. As company employee numbers drop and workloads get heavier, employees spend more time at the office and less time with family which increases the risk of mental illness.
In order to promote mental health in the office, Integrated Sustainability has incorporated many mental health initiatives to create a healthy corporate culture to address the risks of mental illness. To end the stigma against mental health in the workplace, our management team believes in an open-door policy to encourage employees to talk about mental health issues and help co-workers through difficult times. Many of our employees have shared personal stories of their struggles with mental health to encourage others to start the conversation and breakdown the stigma towards mental illness.
Integrated Sustainability believes the three key ways to promote mental health is by creating a positive and healthy work environment, helping workers to identify mental health risks and to assist employees in addressing mental health issues. We have established many activities for employees to take part in such as, a weekly yoga class, group lunchroom and Freedom Fridays which we believe has led to an overall improved corporate environment productivity and reduced stress.
It is important to remember that everyone struggles with mental illness in one way or another and may be expressed differently between individuals. Reflecting on strategies to improve mental health can lead to an overall increase in employee and company productivity. Some tips to improve mental health wellbeing are:
- Participate in group activities to relieve stress through laughter
- Talk to friends, family, counselors or co-workers about stressors in your life
- Reach out to co-workers or friends to start the conversation about mental health
- Regain your lunch break and take time to eat a nutritious meal to power your brain and body
- Remember to exercise regularly to trigger the release of happy hormones called endorphins
- Take one minute out of your day to reflect on a positive thought or what you are grateful for
- And most importantly take time to value yourself and your hard work
For more information about mental health support services available, please visit the link below or the counselling services available in Calgary and surrounding area:
- Canadian Mental Health Association – Calgary
- Access Mental Health (403-943-1500)
- 211 Alberta (211)
- 811 Health Link Alberta (811)
- Eastside Family Centre (409-299-9696)
- South Calgary Health Centre (403-943-9374)
- Calgary Counselling Centre (403-691-5991)
- Calgary Family Services (403-205-5244)