June 6 Is Not Myself @ Work Day in Canada

The Not Myself Today campaign is designed to educate and engage Canadians on the issues of mental health in the workplace and culminates in a national Not Myself Day @ Work on June 6.

The campaign was created to proactively deal with mental health issues. Everyone has had a day when we don’t feel like ourselves. Now imagine living with those feelings not just one day, but many days—and the shame, discrimination and lack of treatment and support that goes with it.

This issue is especially critical at work where so many of us spend so much time.

Why does workplace mental health matter? Because:

  • 500,000 Canadians missed work today because of mental health issues
  • There’s a 3 times greater chance of lost productivity for people living with depression (And according to a survey by Ipsos Reid, 22% of Canadian workers report that they’re currently suffering depression, with 14% have been diagnosed with depression.)
  • Mental illness exceeds heart disease as the fastest growing category of disability costs
  • 1 in 3 workplace disability claims are related to mental illness
  • The annual economic cost of mental illness in Canada is $51 billion
  • 44% of workers say they have or have had mental health issues—but only 23% would talk about their mental illness with their employer.

The launch of CSA Z1003, the new standard on psychological health and safety in the workplace, earlier this year was a good first step. But more companies need to take action to support mental health in the workplace.

As a safety professional, you can lead the way by pledging to support mental health in the workplace by:

  • Helping create a mentally healthy workplace by listening, engaging in discussion and being supportive.
  • Paying more attention to your own mental health and well-being.
  • Supporting a co-worker/loved one/friend who’s living with a mental health problem or illness.
  • Engaging your peers to challenge the negative stereotypes and attitudes that exist around mental illness—at work and in your community.
  • Volunteering your time to support the mental health cause.
  • Donating/fundraising for the mental health cause.

The OHS Insider’s Psychological Safety Compliance Centre has many resources for employers, including:

And at Safety Smart, you can get a safety talk on depression. Not a Safety Smart member? Sign up for a free trial.