Mental health is not simply the absence of mental illness. It is a sense of emotional well-being that allows individuals to realize their full potential and to cope with the stresses of life. The World Health Organization reports that five of the ten leading causes of disability worldwide relate to mental or nervous disorders. Of these disorders, depression is the most prevalent. In Canada, approximately 8% of the population will experience depression at some point in their lives, and 5% of the population is experiencing depression at any given time.
Health PEI’s employees spend a significant part of their lives in Health PEI workplaces. The environment in which they work, and the interactions they have with each other are critical influences on their mental health. The importance of providing psychologically safe and healthy workplaces has been recognized by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) and the Canadian Standards Association. Therefore the Health PEI workplace wellness framework encourages programs and activities that eliminate the stigma of mental health issues, promote positive mental health through stress management, and raise awareness of risk factors and signs of mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression.
Tobacco reduction and smoking cessation continues to be a high-impact strategy for improving the wellness of Health PEI employees. Programs that support individuals who wish to quit using tobacco, and prevent people from initiating tobacco use help all Islanders to live in a healthier environment. Addiction to other drugs, including alcohol and prescription medication also requires employer awareness of the warning signs, and appropriate referral resources to help our employees.
- Building Stronger Teams: Supporting Effective Team Leaders [PDF] - A leader's guide and activities for developing resilience for you and your team (en français) [PDF]