Transcript of Mental Health and Wellness at PCH
[Janet Campbell talking to the camera]
Janet Campbell, Ombudman and Director of the Office of Values and Ethics: “Hi! I’m Janet Campbell. Ombudsman and the Director of the Office of Values and Ethics. I want to talk to you today about a few of the things we’ve learned on our journey towards creating a mentally-healthy workplace, and where I think we need to go next. This year, the main initiative for mental health that we’ve been running is the Not Myself Today campaign.
“We’re now in year two of the campaign and we’ve organized a wide range of activities for employees and managers. We’ve had kiosks at key events, we’ve established a network of ambassadors and regional champions, we’ve held expert workshops and we’ve posted weekly wellness tips on the intranet. We’ve used the mood buttons, the conversation starter cards and so on. But by far, the highest impact activities have been to peer-to-peer learning events.
“Where employees speak to their lived experience or that of a loved one in dealing with a mental health condition. These events really exceeded my expectations in terms of their power to create the space and increase our comfort level for having the conversation. Recently, we organized a panel where three Canadian Heritage executives spoke to their own experience. I see this as a breakthrough for moving the discussion forward. If two DGs and a Director can talk about it, maybe that employee who’s not been willing to seek help will decide that it’s OK. We surveyed employees in 2015 before the campaign, and again after year one. 78% of respondents told us that PCH pays attention to mental health issues. This was a 27% increase over the result in year one.
“Employees also told us that a campaign is nothing but words if it’s not accompanied by meaningful change in their day-to-day work environments. This feedback is really important, and I think our timing is good. I think we’re on the right path, but with a lot of work ahead of us. This past year, we’ve collected a lot of information about our strengths as an organization and areas in need of improvement.
“But we need to engage employees still more broadly in this conversation, including our unions. And we need to keep hearing from senior leadership that they’re committed and that they’re prepared to lead the way. So stay tuned.”