(OTTAWA) – August 25, 2020 – Today, Workplace Strategies for Mental Health, compliments of Canada Life, announced the launch of Break Box, a box of thoughtfully designed, practical and educational resources to help support good mental health at work and home during the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery. In collaboration with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, boxes will be shipped to businesses across the country. Canada Life is also sending boxes to the not-for-profit organizations they work with year-round. In total, 285 businesses and not-for-profits will receive a box.
In a recent Ipsos survey, a majority of Canadians indicated their mental health has been negatively affected by COVID-19, with factors like isolation, caring for loved ones, financial concerns, increased workload and other factors contributing.
“It’s a fact. Many Canadians are facing stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic and re-opening efforts,” says Mary Ann Baynton, Director of Collaboration and Strategy, Workplace Strategies for Mental Health. “Whether people are working from home or adjusting to a new work environment, taking a break can help support mental well-being by improving focus, decision-making, information retention and creativity. The activities in this free Break Box are simple – and meant to help working Canadians recharge, refresh and better manage the demands of life today.”
In an increasingly digital world, the organization intentionally chose to distribute a physical, tangible box of resources to Chamber of Commerce members and not-for-profits. Break Boxes include:
- A checklist for leaders to help support employees during times of transition
- Team activities to help groups talk openly about stress and develop healthy coping strategies
- “Kudos cards” teammates can use to recognize each other and boost morale
- Fill-in-the-blank sticky notes to help share positive messages and ideas for managing stress
- Art therapy colouring pages, pencil crayons, a stress ball and more.
“Supporting and nurturing positive mental health in our workplaces is an investment, one that improves all aspects of our businesses: productivity, profitability, and employee retention, among others. This has never been more true as we rise to address the many challenges and impacts of COVID-19 upon Canadians and businesses across the country. Initiatives like Break Box are meaningful contributions to helping employees and business owners alike during a difficult time,” said Perrin Beatty, President and CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
A digital version of the box is also available for free in English and French, online at clwsmh.com/digitalbreakbox. Those who want to learn more about psychological health and safety in the workplace can also take a look at Guarding Minds at Work and Psychologically Safe Leader. Both are free online resources to help employers evaluate their organization and take effective action.
About The Canada Life Assurance Company
Canada Life is a leading insurance, wealth management and benefits provider focused on improving the financial, physical and mental well-being of Canadians. For more than 170 years, individuals, families and business owners across Canada have trusted us to provide sound guidance and deliver on the promises we’ve made.
As of January 1, 2020, Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life became one company – Canada Life, and today, we proudly serve more than 13 million customer relationships from coast to coast to coast.
About Workplace Strategies for Mental Health
Established in 2007, Workplace Strategies for Mental Health is a leading source of free and practical tools and resources designed to help with the prevention, intervention and management of workplace mental health issues. Around the world, Canada is recognized as a leader in workplace mental health. Many individuals and organizations contributed to this distinction and it’s been a privilege to play a part in many important initiatives. For more information, visit the website at WorkplaceStrategiesforMentalHealth.com.
About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Because Business Matters
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce helps build the businesses that support our families, our communities and our country. We do this by influencing government policy, by providing essential business services and by connecting businesses to information they can use, to opportunities for growth and to a network of local chambers, businesses, decision-makers and peers from across the country, in every sector of the economy and at all levels of government, as well as internationally. We are unapologetic in our support for business and the vital role it plays in building and sustaining our great nation.
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Assistant Vice-President, Media & Public Affairs