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 reduce stigma and negative attitudes towards those struggling with poor mental health
  • To provide learners with a broad understanding of mental health and wellness
  • Help participants maintain mental health and improve resilience
  • To promote mental health and wellness in the workplace
  • To provide managers with the confidence, tools and resources to manage and support employees who may be experiencing mental health problems or illness 

Objectives

The course's objective is to give employees/managers the practical knowledge of mental health and mental illness so they can: 

  • Use the mental health continuum to recognize changes in their mental health and that of others
  • Be prepared to use skills to improve their coping and resiliency
  • Reduce both public and self-stigma
  • Be willing to be a part of a supportive workplace

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

Research

Opening Minds in the Workplace: Interim Results of a Mental Health Promotion and Anti-stigma Intervention - The Working Mind