Suggested three-hour awareness session for leaders
While Working Through It is available online, if you do not have a good internet connection you may wish to request a copy that will be mailed to you on a USB device. Contact the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace.
The following framework can be modified to meet your timing needs and group size.
Introduction of the topic
Explain why this is an issue – turnover, absenteeism, disability, conflict, performance problems, human rights complaints, duty to accommodate, grievances, etc.
Share senior management's support for the strategy of addressing mental health issues.
Be explicit that this is part of a wider strategy that includes education, training, changes in processes and procedures, development of resources, and measurement of effectiveness.
Discuss how participants will be recognized for their efforts to support positive workplace mental health and why this matters to them.
Identification of issues
Hold an open discussion about what supervisors see that may indicate an employee has a mental health concern. You are looking for examples of behaviours rather than symptoms.
Ask what makes these behaviours challenging for leaders.
Record the answers to use in a follow-up meeting to brainstorm solutions.
Viewing the first half of the video
Before viewing, ask participants to write down the following discussion points:
- Information learned about mental illness
("aha" moments or "I did not know that!")
- Questions that arose
- One "test the team" question to ask the group
They will be engaging in discussion about these points half way through watching the video.
If you are viewing online, go to http://www.workplacestrategiesformentalhealth.com/wti/WatchAllPage.aspx
If you are viewing from a DVD or USB device, click on "Play All".
Pause at the end of Dr. Anthony Levitt talking about "Concerns with Medication" and before Gord Conley talks about "My Experience in a Treatment Centre" (approximately 60 minutes).
Facilitate discussion about the three points.
BREAK – 10 minutes
Resume video and ask participants to continue thinking about the discussion points.
Facilitate discussion from second half of the video using the discussion points.
Wrap up: Ask participants what they will do differently as a result of what they have learned.
Consider assigning the first episode on Managing Mental Health Matters as a next step in leader education.
To learn more about facilitating Managing Mental Health Matters, see the Managing Mental Health Matters Leader's Guide.