Chamber discusses mental health in the workplace

Group shot of the speakers and partners of the mental health breakfast

On October 3, Christina Fuda, Mental Health First Aid Coordinator at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) addressed members of the Whitby Chamber of Commerce and Whitby community on how they can create and sustain a mentally safe and healthy workplace at the Healthy Minds = Healthy Workplace breakfast conference presented by Bell Let’s Talk.

Attendees gathered in the lakeview cafeteria at Ontario Shores and connected over a hot buffet breakfast, generously sponsored by MHIB Global Inc., before listening to Fuda’s presentation.

Fuda discussed the $50 billion impact mental illness has made in the business world and what business leaders are doing and can do to reduce this. She touched on the two most common mental illnesses that employees struggle with, depression and anxiety.

“Depression is now the second leading cause of disability – right behind heart disease,” remarked Fuda.

In an effort to decrease the stigma, Fuda has worked with many organizations, such as Ontario Power Generation, and trained more than 2,000 people on how to recognize and assist colleagues, friends and family members living with mental illnesses.

“Right now, 21 per cent of employees struggle with mental illness,” stated Fuda.

Following Fuda’s inspiring presentation, CivicAction’s Linda Weichel, Vice-President, Initiatives presented its new initiative, MindsMatter. The program provides an online tool for organizations to quickly find out how well they support the mental health of their employees and how they can do more to better support them.