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New playbook will support mental health at work

Ontario Chamber announces partnership with Sun Life on free workplace guide
(via Pexels)

TORONTO, ON – May 3, 2021: To mark the start of Canadian Mental Health Week, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) is pleased to announce its partnership with Sun Life to develop its Mental Wellness in the Workplace: A Playbook for Employers. This Playbook will provide Ontario’s business community with the resources needed to support mental wellness in the workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID-19 is having a significant negative impact on Ontarians’ mental health and many workplaces are looking for resources to help support their employees,” says Rocco Rossi, president and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “We are proud to partner with Sun Life and leverage their expertise to support businesses in their efforts to improve wellbeing and productivity, and make a meaningful impact in the lives of their employees.”

Numerous studies confirm Ontarians are struggling during this crisis. Angus Reid’s survey [i] found most Ontarians are experiencing some level of stress and concern about their personal finances (73 per cent and 63 per cent respectively). Nanos also found [ii] most Ontarians (52 per cent) have experienced difficulties accessing the support of a psychologist in the past year. The Canadian Mental Health Association’s latest survey [iii] almost 80 percent of Ontarians believe the province will face a serious mental health crisis – or an echo pandemic – as it emerges from COVID-19.

Sun Life covers over three million employees and their families in Canada. Each year they support the health care needs of Canadians, with more than 75 million claims paid and more than 50 million health touchpoints.

“As the pressures of the pandemic continue, the need for accessible mental health resources is critical. Workplaces play an important role in the health and wellbeing of employees and dependents,” said Jacques Goulet, president, Sun Life Canada. “This Playbook will be a valuable resource to businesses across the province. It will equip employers with information to support their employees. The Playbook will complement Sun Life’s mental health tool kit, a free guide to help organizations build their own workplace mental health strategy.”

The Chamber’s Playbook will provide Ontario businesses with a list of resources so employers have tools at their disposal to develop mental health strategies and psychologically healthy and safe workplaces. The OCC will also prepare a summary document that includes information and resources tailored to small businesses and entrepreneurs. Both resources will be released this summer and available to employers and businesses through the OCC’s website and social media channels.

The OCC and Sun Life will be holding two virtual consultations this month to hear directly from members, small businesses, and mental health subject matter experts about the challenges employers and employees have experienced in the past 13-months and what supports are needed.

[i] Angus Reid COVID-19 Tracker, Wave 32 Survey, conducted between February 17 and 18, 2021, with 378 Ontario respondents.
[ii] Nanos survey conducted between September 25 and October 2, 2020, with 656 Ontario respondents participating in this question.
[iii] Canadian Mental Health Association survey conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights between February 19 and 22, 2021, with 1,004 Ontario respondents.

About the Ontario Chamber of Commerce
For more than a century, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has been the independent, non-partisan, indispensable partner of Ontario business. The OCC’s mission is to support economic growth in Ontario by defending business priorities at Queen’s Park on behalf of its network’s diverse 60,000 members.