Transcript of Mental health and wellness support for Department of Canadian Heritage employees
[Éric Beauchamp talking to the camera while walking]
Éric Beauchamp (translated from French to English): “Hi, my name is Éric Beauchamp, and I have been employed by the Department of Canadian Heritage since 2008. In February 2016, I had to stop working completely owing to a mental-health issue. I had been suffering panic attacks and a major depression as a result of post-traumatic stress. After six months, I was able to return to work in August 2016. I benefited from the very good practices of the Department of Canadian Heritage, particularly the Office of Values and Ethics. They have a full-time employee assigned to these types of issues—a senior disability management and well-being officer—who liaises and coordinates between the various parties: management, employees returning to work and the insurance company. She helps us navigate the administrative processes and gives us a reference point.
“She also coordinates an awareness campaign on mental-health issues and testimonials from peers, which are great. I was also able to receive very good services from branch managers. They provided support, listened, empathized. They allowed me some flexibility with my work schedule, which was very important with respect to my duties, and the possibility of teleworking. All this allowed me to build self-confidence by slowly and steadily accumulating little accomplishments and getting things back to normal.
“There is still room for improvement, namely ensuring a reliable pay system for employees who are in vulnerable situations. We should also explore the possibility of having a meditation room or a lounge: a positive, well ventilated place that we can retreat to when we need to recharge during the day. We should also continue the awareness campaign and get a few more testimonials, if we can. We could also consider creating a network of mentors, like a small group of people who have successfully returned to work and help people who are attempting to return to work. Well, that’s it. Thank you very much and have a good day!”