Does Your Workplace Need a Mental Health Check-up?

Bonus features: scroll down for a workplace mental health activity and a Brain-Boosting Smoothie recipe! 


Did you know that the workplace plays an essential part in the maintenance of positive mental health?  For many people, the work environment can provide an opportunity to feel productive, interact collaboratively, and contribute to their community.


Did you also know that 47% of working Canadians consider their work to be the most stressful part of their day, with 500,000 employees unable to work due to mental health problems and illnesses every year? And the reality is, many people suffer with poor mental health even when they do not have a diagnosed mental illness.


We all have mental health, just like we all have physical health. With this in mind, we can all benefit from acknowledging that mental health plays an integral role not only in the workplace but also in our overall health.


How can you support a mentally healthy workplace?


Open the conversation. The first step to minimizing the stigma around mental health is to stop treating it as something we should be afraid of. Start the conversation by sharing a personal experience you may have had yourself, or with a friend/family member.  Talking about it openly in your workplace will help others realize they aren’t alone.


Get everyone involved.  Mental health shouldn’t just be for your front-line staff. Everyone can suffer from poor mental health; therefore all levels of staff should be included in the conversation.  As we mentioned in our previous post, leadership can have a significant impact towards the success of workplace wellness; therefore, we recommend a member from leadership show their commitment to their own health & wellness and put mental health on the agenda.


Offer Flexible Work Options. Encouraging work-life balance is a key aspect of a mentally healthy work environment and employers should consider offering flexible work options.  Mental health charity Mind illustrates that offering flexible work hours can promote increased work-life balance, the opportunity to attend medical appointments, greater control, and the ability to avoid rush-hour traffic. Likewise, a recent study shows that 33% of people with commutes over 60 minutes (each way) are more likely to suffer from depression, with 12% more likely to report issues due to work-related stress.


Create a mentally friendly workplace- It’s important for your employees to feel energized and inspired by their work environment. In one of our recent Wellness Wednesdays blog posts we shared how you can revamp your workplace to reduce stress and increase energy levels.


Address the Elephant in the Room (Workplace Activity)

Recently, Pivot HR Services worked with one of our clients to develop a Mental Health & Wellness program. One of our favourite activities we implemented addressed “The Elephant in the Room”, illustrating the stigma surrounding mental health issues.  We invite you to implement the following activity into your workplace as well.


What you’ll need:

  • A big picture of an elephant
  • Post-it notes and pens by the picture



  • Post an image of an elephant on the wall of a frequently visited area of your workplace (i.e. staff room/communal area)
  • Invite staff to write down their thoughts and feelings about mental health. How are they feeling? What are the stigmas? What stops them from talking about mental health?


Sharing ideas and feelings is a way of exposing mental health problems in the workplace without creating feelings of isolation.  


Develop a Mental Health Policy. Create a workplace Mental Health Policy that will serve as the anchor point for all of your workplace mental health and wellness activities.  For example, does your workplace have policies to prevent discrimination or prevent stigma around mental health issues? Review your current policies and see if they can better support the mental health of your employees. Don’t have any in place, or need help ensuring they are up-to-date, Pivot HR Services offers customized HR policies that fit your budget and goals.  



Recipe of the Week: Brain-Boosting Smoothie

This week’s recipe is packed full of delicious ingredients and antioxidants that are great for brain health.



You will need:

  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice (or any berry juice)
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 ripe banana, peeled
  • ½ avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 1 date (optional, for added sweetness)



  • Add all ingredients to a blender and pulse until combined and smooth. If the smoothie is too thick, add more juice/water. If too thin, add more ice



If you are interested in learning more about workplace mental health, or would like a customized wellness policy, we are here to help! Please contact us today at 604.916.6199 or


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