As an advocate for wellbeing and long-standing partner of the Calgary Counselling Centre and the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, Alberta Blue Cross® is thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of the important discussion about mental health.
As part of the National Depression Screening Day that took place on October 5, the Calgary Chamber of Commerce hosted a panel discussion about mental health. This discussion helped to shine a light on mental wellness and depression in the workplace. Business leaders and mental health professionals came together to share their experiences in mental health challenges.
From a workplace perspective, National Depression Screening Day serves as a reminder that mental health must always remain a top priority for any organization. As the stigma around mental health is dissipating and individuals feel more comfortable talking about it, employees are looking for ways to protect their mental health as well as reaching out for support in times of need. Therefore, it is important for organizations to have support systems in place and offer benefits that employees value.
Research suggests that corporate health and wellness programs boost job satisfaction, instilling a sense of employer support and healthier habits. These initiatives also communicate company values, emphasizing employee wellbeing as a top priority.
“If organizations are not prioritizing employee health and wellbeing,” says Melanie Fuller, director of Wellness at Alberta Blue Cross®, “they are most likely significantly struggling with the attraction and retention of their valued employees, which is the driving engine of their business and their sustainability.”
“We are seeing an increase in diversity with respect to multigenerational workforces, which is leading to changes in the ways employees want to feel seen, heard and valued. Employees are looking for personalized, flexible and meaningful supports rather than the traditional, one-size-fits-all, check box menu-based approach to supporting their wellbeing at work,” Fuller emphasizes. “Employees want to contribute to organizations that are more aligned with their personal values, and the impact of the organization, versus the traditional drivers of pay or standard employee benefits.”
Whether employees feel that their needs are met or not will have a great impact on overall employee health and wellbeing, as well as worker retention and hiring challenges. A good first step is to offer employees self-assessment tools to get a better understanding of their mental health and that can give them the tools they need.
‘’Alberta Blue Cross® is so pleased to support National Depression Screening Day—recognizing how important mental health is for Albertans,” says Brian Geislinger, senior vice-president of Corporate Relations and Community Engagement with Alberta Blue Cross®. “We have been working closely with the Calgary Counselling Centre for many years, and this partnership has been key for us in being able to offer tools and support to plan members in prioritizing mental health and wellbeing. We also want to thank the Calgary Chamber of Commerce for hosting this important panel discussion about mental health in the workplace’’
As part of the National Depression Screening Week that took place from October 1-8, Alberta Blue Cross® partnered with the Calgary Counselling Centre and other local partners to offer free access to its online quiz. This short, anonymous, and free online screening quiz allows individuals to check in with how they are feeling and get help if they need it. The quiz takes only about three minutes and is available in English, French, Spanish, Punjabi, Chinese, and Ukrainian.
The quiz is an important tool to promote awareness and engagement to support a mentally healthy and thriving workforce today and in the future.
About Alberta Blue Cross®
As Alberta’s leading benefit provider, Alberta Blue Cross® provides coverage to more than 1.8 million Albertans and administers a wide range of plans for employers and individuals as well as government program sponsors. And as a champion for wellbeing, Alberta Blue Cross® leads and supports a wide range of initiatives across the province to promote wellness and active living.