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INVESTING IN HEALTHY MINDS

- Area Employers Encouraged to Sign Up for Free Workshop Series That Supports Mental Health at Work –

Imagine if the total population of Peterborough, Northumberland, Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton – approximately 315,000 people – did not show up to work for a week due to a mental health problem or illness.

That’s the reality across Canada, where the Mental Health Commission of Canada estimates – in any given week – close to half a million people will miss work due to a mental health problem or illness. To remedy the problem, two public health agencies in the area and Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Prevention Services are teaming up to offer local employers a free series of workshops to support mental health at work.

Appropriately, the Investing in Healthy Minds @Work initiative is being launched during Healthy Workplace Month in October. Investing in Healthy Minds @Work is a no-cost series of six-half day workshops that will help employers understand, create and implement action plans around psychological health and safety. The initiative is made possible through funding from the Ontario Ministry of Labour.

Investing in Healthy Minds @Work is open to interested employers in Peterborough, Northumberland, Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton region, providing them with free and accessible mental health resources and training. Employers who sign up are asked to commit to sending staff to all six half-day workshop sessions. The workshop series will be offered in Spring 2017 in Cobourg and Fall 2017 in Peterborough, and is being promoted locally by Peterborough Public Health and the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit.

To register or learn more about the Investing in Healthy Minds @Work initiative:

• In Peterborough, contact Peterborough Public Health at (705) 743-1000, ext. 309, toll-free at 1-877-742-0101 or visit the Health at Work Peterborough website.

• In Northumberland, Haliburton and Kawartha Lakes, contact the HKPR District Health Unit toll-free at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1256, or visit the Solutions 2 Work Stress website.

Investing in Healthy Minds @Work is an opportunity for local employers, especially small businesses, not-for-profits and public workplaces, to gain valuable insight and expertise in creating a workplace that protects and promotes the psychological health, safety and well-being of their workers,” says Lisa van der Vinne, a Workplace Health Liaison with the HKPR District Health Unit.

“So often workplace health and safety is only thought of in physical terms, even though the mental well-being of workers is equally important,” adds Monique Beneteau, a Health Promoter with Peterborough Public Health. “We are very pleased to be offering local workplaces the chance to take part in the Investing in Healthy Minds @Work initiative and access the expertise of the Workplace Safety and Prevention Services.”

Workplace Safety and Prevention Services is a provincial organization that provides health and safety expertise, insight and solutions for creating healthy work environments where employees thrive and businesses prosper.

While the Investing in Healthy Minds @Work series is free, participating workplaces are being asked to commit staff time and resources to attend the training sessions and then implement strategies to support mental health at work. “Taking part in the workshop series is a valuable investment of your time and effort that will pay off in many ways,” van der Vinne notes. “Supporting mental health at work can improve employee engagement and staff retention, as well as enhance productivity.”

For media inquiries, contact:

Lisa van der Vinne, Workplace Health Liaison, HKPR District Health Unit, (905) 885-9100, or 1-866-888-4577,

or Monique Beneteau, Health Promoter, Peterborough Public Health, (705) 743-1000, ext. 309.

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