By Sarah Liverance In 1986, Luke Sklar founded Sklar Wilton & Associates. Over 29 healthy...
Launched on May 13, 2019, Headway is a Canada-wide initiative designed to support healthy minds at work. It was inspired by the founder of Sklar Wilton & Associates, Luke Sklar, a successful entrepreneur, Marketing Hall of Legends inductee, generous community leader, and loving family man. Luke was a bright light and mentor to many. Sadly, we lost Luke to depression in 2018.
If you’ve been following the #Headway movement, you know we want to fuel action for Healthy Minds at Work by sharing and encouraging pledges on LinkedIn. But if Headway is new for you, keep on reading to learn more.
Making mental health in the workplace a priority is not only the right thing to do, there’s a robust business case for doing so. The business costs of mental illness in Canada exceed fifty billion dollars per year, mental health issues can cost Canadian companies up to $1494 per employee per year, and the social costs of mental illness are immeasurable. Morneau Shepell’s ‘Workplace Mental Health Priorities‘ details further statistics about the business case for mental health in the workplace. In today’s economy, which is based on human qualities such as connectivity, innovation, and collaboration, business leaders must create workplaces that honour and respect human strengths and vulnerabilities.
Designed to fuel a movement and inspire action, Headway aims to help business executives increase the priority of healthy of minds at work by connecting them with actionable resources from established experts in the Canadian mental health industry. Many of these excellent resources are described in the ‘Headway Healthy Minds Resource Roadmap.’
In partnership with the Great Place to Work Institute, Headway has also produced a guide offering more integrated and holistic thinking about workplace mental wellness. The guide, ‘An Employers Guide: Trust as the Foundation for Mentally Healthy Workplaces,’ provides concrete tips for creating more trusting relationships at work along with real-life examples. Below are some examples from the guide of best practices for supporting healthy minds at work:
- Ensure Leaders Set the Tone: When executives openly embody mental wellness practices and participate in company wellness initiatives, team members are encouraged to follow suit. Business executives should provide training to senior and mid-level managers to ensure they have the necessary skills to support team members who need it.
- Create a Culture of Connection: Fostering closer relationships at work leads to stronger teams and happier employees. Business leaders should create opportunities for employees to connect with and support each other in their daily activities as well as during times of increased stress.
- Foster Strong Communication: Clear and direct two-way communication is the cornerstone of mentally healthy workplaces. By offering appropriate training, leaders can help employees mean what they say, and say what they mean, respectfully and in real-time, so that employees know where they stand. This will help to reduce the stress associated with second-guessing.
- Instill Fairness: Employee perceptions of fairness at work are strongly connected with workplace mental health. Leaders must promote a fair and inclusive workplace where great things are welcomed and expected from all of their employees, regardless of background, position, or personal characteristics.
Now, you’re equipped with a solid business case to prioritize healthy minds at work, a Resource Roadmap to identify expert sources of Canadian information and assistance, and a guide containing best practices to support healthy minds at work. One important step remains.
It’s time to fuel the #Headway movement.
Make your own pledge for Healthy Minds at Work and inspire other business leaders to do the same.
Mental health is not a simple issue but your pledge can be. It might be as simple as “I pledge to tell my manager about the #Headway Healthy Minds at Work movement.” Or, it might be as complex as “I pledge to talk to our benefits provider about improved options to prioritize mental health in the workplace.” There are unlimited types of pledges and a few of them will be right for you. To inspire your thinking, we’ve prepared a range of sample pledges.
Once you’ve decided on your pledge, share it! Post your pledge on LinkedIn with our hashtags #HeadwayMovement #HeadwayHealthyMindsAtWork. You can also Email your pledge to us as we’d love know how you’ve actioned on your pledge and what your ongoing progress is. We can’t wait to share your success stories!
Headway for Healthy Minds at Work: The Sklar Wilton & Associates Action Plan
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