Mental health plays a role in many aspects of life. This year Mental Health Week runs from May 5 to 11 and the focus is Work-life Balance: Make it Your Business.
Shauna Prouten patient care manager at the Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury believes that mental health awareness is crucial in today’s society.
“Mental health is an important factor in the quality of life of Albertans,” said Prouten. “We know that mental health impacts physical wellness as well as a person’s ability to function well in activities of daily living. Mental Health Week is an opportunity to highlight various mental health concerns that are currently occurring in our society and help people become aware of interventions and solutions that are available to help them improve their overall wellbeing and quality of life.”
The week’s focus of good and effective work-life balance is a response to the increasing need to help lower the numbers of individuals in the work force that are stretched to their mental limit.
“Mental health is the largest untreated epidemic affecting the workforce today with an estimated cost to employers of $30 billion a year,” said Prouten. “Mental health issues plaguing employees that impact their ability to attend work or perform their best include stress, burnout and depression.”
The campaign also brings awareness to what the employer can do to help minimize stress in the workplace and allow a quality work-life balance for their employees.
“There are many things that employers can do to facilitate their employees to achieve work-life balance,” said Prouten. “Programs that are currently available in some workplaces include: flexible working arrangements, leaves, health benefits/employee assistance programs, child care referral services, and a well-established occupational health and safety program.”
The Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury will be raising awareness with a pancake breakfast and a raffle for a work-life balance basket for staff.
Ponoka and District Chamber of Commerce employers may also have Captain Stress-Less and Crew drop by to hand out work-life balance and mental health information on May 7.
To take a quiz on work-life balance or more information on mental health and available programs visit The Canadian Mental Health Association’s website at www.cmha.ca.