The working mind

 

Reducing stigma and increasing resiliency in employees and managers.

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What is The Working Mind (TWM)?

TWM: Workplace Mental Health and Wellness is an education-based program designed to address and promote mental health and reduce the stigma of mental illness in a workplace setting.

TWM offers three tailored course options:

There are three versions of TWM: one for trainers (five days), one for managers/supervisors (eight hours), one for employees/“frontline” staff (four hours). These courses include scenario-based practical applications and custom videos of people with lived experience of mental illness, participant reference guides, and related handouts. Click here to view our fact sheet

The manager and employee versions include:

  • A focus on dispelling the myths of mental health problems and mental illnesses, aiming to reduce associated stigma
  • An overview of the Mental Health Continuum Model
  • Self-assessment of one’s own mental health along the continuum
  • Strategies one can apply at each point along the continuum

The managers’ version includes additional course content, such as:

  • Workplace accommodations and return to work
  • How to observe changes in employees along the continuum
  • Appropriate actions to take
  • How to communicate with employees about mental health illness in a workplace context

The train-the-trainer (TTT) course equips people with the tools and skills to present both the frontline and manager versions of The Working Mind. The train-the-trainer course includes:

  • Background information on mental health
  • Extensive information on the key concepts of the employee and manager
  • Structured presentation practice time
  • Evaluation of presentation skills by master trainers and TWM trainers

Goals

  • To support the mental health and wellbeing of employees
  • To enable the full productivity of employees
  • To ensure the workplace is respectful and inclusive of all employees, including those with mental health problems and mental illness
  • To encourage employees to seek help for mental health problems and mental illness

Objectives

  • To examine the effects of mental health problems and mental illness in the workplace
  • To help staff identify indicators of declining and poor mental health in themselves and others
  • To introduce the concept of Mental Health Continuum Model
  • To review employees', managers', and employers' mental health rights and responsibilities
  • To provide strategies staff can use to maintain good mental health

Central Components

  • The Mental Health Continuum Model categorizes one's mental health within a continuum: green (healthy), yellow (reacting), orange (injured), and red (ill). The continuum:
    • Allows individuals to identify indicators of declining or pool mental health in themselves, and others (without diagnostic labels and their associated stigma).
    • Stresses that individuals can move along the continuum; if one ends up in the red "ill" phase, he or she can move back towards the green "healthy phase".
    • Teaches the appropriate action one can take for themselves and for others at each point along the continuum.

  • Some of the strategies contained in the program are Cognitive Behaviour Theory-based techniques that help individuals cope with stress and improve their mental health. They include positive self-talk, visualization, diaphragmatic breathing, and proper goal setting.
  • Research indicates that contact-based education is one of the best ways of reducing stigma. The Working Mind includes custom videos of people with mental illnesses describing some of their experiences with mental illness and stigma, as well as those who supported them and their journey to recovery. Click here to read our preliminary evaluations report. 

Upcoming Courses

To view upcoming courses, please click here. If you do not see a course that fits your needs, please contact us at theworkingmind@mentalhealthcommission.ca to discuss other options.

Contact

To learn more about The Working Mind and to ask about course options for your organization, please email: theworkingmind@mentalhealthcommission.ca