Your mental health and well-being
The following guidance applies to employees of Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC).
As the current situation may create uncertainty, stress and anxiety, we encourage ECCC employees to take steps to care for their mental health during this time.
We all have access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at 1-800-268-7708 for additional support, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (TTY: 1-800-567-5803 for people with a hearing impairment). This service is available to you and members of your immediate family.
Take care of yourself
The COVID-19 pandemic and the necessary public health measures to contain its spread are creating stress for people and communities across Canada, including federal public servants and their families.
- Stay informed but follow reliable news coverage about COVID-19 in moderation.
- Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate.
- Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep.
- Stay connected and maintain healthy relationships. Talk to friends or family regularly, especially about your feelings and any concerns.
- Identify what is within your control and try to direct your energy towards what worries you most that is within your own control.
The LifeSpeak Library has nearly 1,000 videos and short training sessions on a variety of health and wellness topics presented by leading experts in their respective fields, including stress management, resilience, physical health and mental health.
You can access these resources by clicking “ACCESS THROUGH GROUP ACCOUNT” and using the password “canada”.
- Mental health and wellness
- Mental health and wellness during COVID-19
- COVID-19: Managing your mental health in times of uncertainty (PDF) (EAP Newsletter, Volume 25.2)
- How to manage anxiety during the COVID-19 outbreak (LifeSpeak blog)
Guidance for managers
Being a manager during this pandemic can be especially difficult. Leading through these uncertain times requires more flexibility and accommodation than usual. Supporting and caring for oneself and others is key to building more resilient and productive teams.
Take care of yourself first
No matter your situation, make self-care a priority even if it is just for a few minutes each day. Put your own oxygen mask on first. Only then will you be able to make a difference for others.
You may want to consider finding a sounding board to deal with management challenges you may be facing.
- Contact your Labour Relations Advisor for advice on employee performance, accommodation options, collective agreement interpretation or how to respond to certain leave requests.
- The ECCC Respect Bureau has Conflict Management Practitioners to help you navigate difficult conversations with employees or provide coaching to deal with specific workplace issues.
- Join the Managers’ Network to receive regular manager-specific information, participate in Coffee and Chat sessions and to share experiences and best practices with your peers.
Create a mentally healthy work environment
You are being asked to create a culture of care, where employees feel safe talking about mental health and raising concerns.
Mental health is not the same as mental illness. We all have mental health that can fluctuate. Helping employees maintain positive mental health starts with creating a healthy and safe work environment.
Five golden rules for managers
- Establish connection and trust early
- Model healthy and respectful behaviours
- Listen, observe and check in regularly
- Provide safe spaces for discussions
- Refrain from diagnosing and always refer employees to professionals
For more details on how to foster a healthy work environment that supports employees’ mental health, see 5 golden rules for managers (PDF).
What to do when an employee is in crisis
Some employees may be struggling more than others. Remember, you, as their manager, are not responsible for the diagnosis or treatment of a mental health issue but you can help by being part of the employee’s support system and by suggesting they consider reaching out for professional help (e.g. family doctor or EAP).
For important information on having these very difficult conversations and on how to support an employee who is struggling through a mental health crisis, see the Mental health crisis support guide for managers (PDF).
Find a variety of information, tools and resources to support workplace mental health and wellness at ECCC.
Managing Your Mental Health
Members of the Federal Speakers' Bureau offer their lived experience and tips for managing mental health
Supporting a Colleague
Members of the Federal Speakers' Bureau on Healthy Workplaces share what type of support from co-workers they found most helpful when they experienced mental health issues at work.
Breath Break at Your Desk
A wide selection of videos that take you through breathing exercises at your desk.
You Are Not Alone
Members of the Federal Speakers' Bureau discuss the benefits of talking about mental health and the importance of reaching out for help.
Tips for Managers
Members of the Federal Speakers' Bureau on Healthy Workplaces share their lived experience insights into how managers can support employees struggling with mental health at work.
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