The Mental Health Continuum A lot of people automatically think of mental illness when they hear the words mental health. However, just like physical health, everyone has mental health. Mental health refers to an individual’s psychological and emotional well-being, whether it’s in a negative or positive state. A common misconception is that when our mental health is suffering,…

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Working Together to Prevent Suicide Post-Pandemic Every year, 160 million people contemplate suicide and 800,000 of these people die by suicide (Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, 2021). Every year on September 10th, we recognize World Suicide Prevention Day in order to promote awareness about the devastating impacts of suicide and educate each other on the…

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How to Assist Persons with Disabilities to Overcome Return to the Workplace Concerns Throughout the pandemic, employees have been working from home. As they have attempted to adapt to this new work situation, there have been ongoing concerns that may be more prevalent for individuals with disabilities. A July 2021 study completed by the Institute…

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Assisting Employees with Health Conditions in Returning to the Workplace – Is Hybrid Work Better? As an employer, you will have a number of employees with disabilities or health conditions that may need additional considerations when thinking about return to the workplace. In fact, a recent article by CNN indicates that many individuals with disabilities have…

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Health and Safety Considerations for Working Safely in a Hybrid Workplace: The Importance of Ergonomics Ergonomics is the science of designing a workstation, work tools, and work to fit the capabilities of the person doing the work to improve productivity and reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders and discomfort. What Is an MSD? MSDs (musculoskeletal…

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Supporting the Manager’s Mental Health in a Hybrid Workplace Have you read this article?  Your boss secretly wants to quit. Business leaders can’t take COVID-19 work life anymore – The Globe and Mail In this article published July 15, 2021, it is reported that “just over half of the 1,100 business and public sector leaders…

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10 Ways to Manage Engagement and Productivity in the Hybrid Workplace With the transition to a hybrid working model, employers may be wondering how they can ensure employees are staying engaged and productive, no matter where they work. The good news is that reports show productivity has not dropped off over the course of the…

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Supporting Employees with Remote Work Preference After working from home for the past year, some employees may find that they enjoy it and would prefer to continue working remotely. A survey of over 2,000 Canadians found that 77% of people want the flexibility to work from home at least part of the time (KPMG, 2021).…

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Addressing Mental Health Concerns in a New Hybrid Workplace World With the hybrid workplace model being discussed in virtual boardrooms across the country, employers should consider how such a decision will affect the mental health of employees. Are employees mentally ready to return to the workplace? Will continuing to work remotely negatively impact their mental…

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The Future of Hybrid Workplaces As we move forward to find our new normal for work, it is expected that employers will be planning for alternate ways to work in various formats and locations. We expect that there will be challenges in supporting employees in this decision. Employers are beginning to examine creative ways to…

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PTSD Series Part 4: Case Study Occupational Therapists’ unique occupational lens and focus on empowerment and promotion of health and well-being makes them ideally placed to work with persons with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as they work to regain control over their lives. A proper Occupational Therapy assessment can assist the employer and employee in discussing suitable…

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PTSD Series Part 3: Returning to Work Adults with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) or anxiety may find themselves avoiding places, situations, objects, and people that remind them of the trauma or distress they experienced. They also might avoid thinking or talking about a certain topic. Unfortunately, this type of avoidance just keeps the distress going…

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PTSD Series Part 2: Building Resilience The longer that Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms are experienced and not addressed, the greater the difficulty in treatment and reengagement in daily life. Early recognition and intervention is needed to prevent the loss of routines, habits, and roles. Without awareness and training, employees and employers may find it…

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PTSD Series Part 1: Promoting Awareness June 27th is PTSD Awareness Day. This observance strives to bring awareness of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) to the public and eliminate stigma. PTSD has a profound effect on the lives of those who suffer from it. Experiencing a trauma can result in physical, emotional, or psychological harm that…

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The Impact of Brain Injuries on Vision While studies show that 90% of all traumatic brain injury patients suffer from visual difficulties, visual function is often overlooked when diagnosing brain injury symptoms (Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association). Symptoms are not always apparent and may be conflated with other symptoms, such as cognitive function, when testing requires visual…

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Returning to Work After a Concussion? Here’s What You Should Know Did you know that just one concussion could lead to cognitive impairment? The risk of developing long-term or permanent cognitive impairment increases with the severity of the head injury, but even mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs) like concussions can temporarily impact cognition. While symptoms…

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June is Brain Injury Awareness Month We use our brains for every single thing we do – whether those actions are conscious and voluntary, such as making a cup of coffee, or unconscious and involuntary, such as breathing. Our brains are constantly working to help us survive and thrive. Your brain is the most powerful…

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Employees with Imposter Syndrome May Experience Mental Health and Performance Issues Do you ever feel like you are a “fraud”? Like you are not qualified or knowledgeable enough to be in your role or to carry out your responsibilities? Do you dismiss or discount positive feedback from others? Do you attribute your successes to “luck”…

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How to Be Mindful: Practical Tips from an Occupational Therapist The current mental health climate is precarious following more than a year of national anxiety, fear, isolation, and uncertainty. Helping employees maintain and repair their health requires a thoughtful and practical approach that recognizes both the longevity of mental health issues and the barriers to…

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Managing Negative Thoughts During a Pandemic During the ongoing pandemic, you might have experienced negative thoughts and feelings about the world around you. Fears and worries about health, financial security, and social isolation have taken a toll on Canadians’ mental health, with 50% of Canadians reporting worsening mental health, 44% reporting feelings of worry, and…

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Mental Health Week: What Has the Past Year Taught Us About Mental Health? One year since the COVID-19 pandemic began, people across the globe continue to face serious mental health challenges. Even before the pandemic, Canada was facing a mental health crisis that saw one in five people managing diagnosable health conditions and 1.6 million…

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Managing Disability in the Workplace: Everything You Need to Know “Effective management of disability in the workplace is more important today than ever before. As competitiveness in markets increases, the importance of an engaged and productive workforce becomes essential to an organization’s survival.” The CSA Work Disability Management System Standard, which was published in 2020,…

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Using Technology to Stay Mentally Well in Remote Workplaces Over the past year, many employers have relied on technology to keep their businesses running. Apps, websites, and social media platforms have become a lifeline for brick-and-mortar stores. Video conferencing software has become an essential part of the remote workplace as millions of Canadians continue to…

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COVID Long Hauler Syndrome: Is this a new health condition or a variation of an old health condition reimagined? As of April 5, 2021, there have been over 1 million reported cases of COVID-19 in Canada and over 23,000 deaths and almost 56,000 active cases.  With over 927,000 recovered cases, a large number of Canadians…

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Why Working is Good for Your Health Working not only has many economic and social benefits, but it can be good for your overall health. There are many reasons employees take leave off work: physical and mental disabilities, injuries, pregnancy, family emergencies and many more. Over the past year, millions of Canadians became unemployed due…

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To Sit or to Stand? In 2020, workers spent an average of 4.25 hours of the workday standing, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics—that’s about 57% of the day standing and 43% sitting. However, the numbers vary drastically by occupation. Workers in food preparation and serving-related roles spent around 97% of their day…

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Why Employee Fatigue Is a Productivity and Safety Concern There’s a good chance you have heard the term “fatigue” more than once in your lifetime, but do you really know what it means to be suffering from fatigue? Fatigue is more than just simply being tired, which results from short-term sleep loss or from short…

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March 15-21 is Brain Awareness Week! Brain Awareness Week occurs annually in mid-March to promote the progress and benefits of brain research to the world! This awareness week was founded in 1996 by The Dana Foundation. The Dana Foundation was founded in 1950 by Charles A. Dana, with a goal of developing a better understanding of…

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Choose to Challenge for International Women’s Day International Women’s Day (IWD) is March 8th, 2021! This powerful movement was adopted by the United Nations in 1975, and is a day of togetherness, celebration, reflection, and action. IWD helps drive action against gender bias and toward a more gender equal world. According to the Government of…

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Ten Strategies to Deal with Crisis Fatigue Are you experiencing crisis fatigue? Some call it a “mental fog” or “pandemic fatigue.” While not an official clinical disorder at this time, crisis fatigue is a stressful emotional state many people are experiencing as the pandemic wears on. One year later and we are still dealing with…

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Working Virtual Series Part 1 of 5: So You Want to Stay Virtual…What You Need to Know About Virtual Ergonomics With COVID-19 still active and businesses struggling with social distancing, continuing to work virtually is on everyone’s minds. We know you have questions about how to support your employees working virtually. The virtual workplace process…

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Pt. 7 | Returning to the Workplace Post-Quarantine: Manager Self-Care in the Time of Crisis With businesses reopening and physical distancing restrictions easing, returning to the workplace is on everyone’s minds. We know you have questions about how to support your employees during this transition period. The return to the workplace process is not one-approach-fits-all,…

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Pt. 6 | Returning to the Workplace Post-Quarantine: How to Help Employees with Health Conditions With businesses reopening and physical distancing restrictions easing, returning to work is on everyone’s minds. We know you have questions about how to support your employees during this transition period. The return to the workplace process is not one-approach-fits-all, and…

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Pt. 5 | Returning to the Workplace Post-Quarantine: How to Help Employees with a Health and Safety Concern With businesses reopening and physical distancing restrictions easing, returning to work is on everyone’s minds. We know you have questions about how to support your employees during this transition period. The return to work process is not…

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Pt. 4 | Returning to the Workplace Post-Quarantine: How to Help Employees with Remote Work Preference or Ergonomic Issues With businesses reopening and physical distancing restrictions easing, returning to work is on everyone’s minds. We know you have questions about how to support your employees during this transition period. The return to the workplace process…

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Pt. 3 | Returning to Work Post-Quarantine: How to Help Employees with Childcare Issues With businesses reopening and physical distancing restrictions easing, returning to work is on everyone’s minds. We know you have questions about how to support your employees during this transition period. The return to work process is not one-approach-fits-all, and so we…

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Pt. 2 | Returning to Work Post-Quarantine: How to Help Employees with Anxiety and Worry about Returning to Work With businesses reopening and physical distancing restrictions easing, returning to work is on everyone’s minds. We know you have questions about how to support your employees during this transition period. The return to work process is…

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Pt. 1 | Returning to Work Post-Quarantine: How to Help Employees with PTSD, Compassion Fatigue, and Burnout With businesses reopening and physical distancing restrictions easing, returning to work is on everyone’s minds. We know you have questions about how to support your employees during this transition period. The return to work process is not one-approach-fits-all,…

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Navigating the Duty to Accommodate in a Difficult Time As an employer working hard during this latest crisis, you have shown compassion and leniency with your production goals and have even made adjustments to how work is done to support employees. You are now faced with tough decisions about accommodating workers as your business reopens…

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“Zoom Fatigue”: How Video Conferencing Has Changed the Way We Work For those working from home, video conferencing has likely become one of your main tools of communication. You might be feeling burnt out or tired from the constant screen time, whether you are hopping between work meetings or staying connected with family and friends.…

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Managing Loss and Grief During COVID-19 The world is in a state of grieving, and no one has been left unaffected by the ripples COVID-19 has caused in our lives. Not only are we losing loved ones and community members, but we are also losing our normal ways of life. Grief expert David Kessler has…

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Compassion Fatigue – Helping the Helpers to Stay Well During these unprecedented times, the cost of caring has become that much higher as healthcare professionals and the general public grapple with their mental health. From the frontline workers who face loss and trauma every day, to those on the sidelines who are watching the pain…

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Virtual Ergonomics and Remote Workplaces Working ergonomically has always been a vital part of a healthy and productive workplace, and with so many people now working virtually, it’s important to continue applying proper ergonomics at home. Whether you already have a remote workstation or not, you’ve likely experienced a disruption of routine and are spending…

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How to Reduce the Impacts of Quarantine on Your Mental Health While the long-term negative effects of quarantine in relation to COVID-19 have yet to be studied, recent and former quarantine research indicates that changes in our mental health are already taking place and that we can take measures now to reduce the psychological impact.…

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The Changing Nature of Work:  Managing Employee Engagement Introduction The workplace is changing.  As employment contracts change, employee expectations adjust and your role as a manager becomes more important. Employees enter the job with different expectations and requirements for support. We are now in an age of change with virtual workplaces becoming the norm. Many…

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Tips for Working from Home If you’re one of the many employees now working from home, you may find navigating this new work environment has a learning curve. From setting up a new workspace, to staying productive, to learning new ways to connect, there are many challenges that come from trading in the office for…

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Given the uncertainty of current times, managing our worries and concerns about the world we live in has become an even more prominent part of our reality. For many of us, dealing with anxiety is nothing new, but the ways in which we are responding to the global crisis are likely unprecedented.

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Researchers at the University of Florida recently conducted a study to determine if depression is an inflammation-based disorder involving different regions of the brain. “Our hypothesis was that gut bacteria can affect whole-body inflammation, brain inflammation and brain neurotransmitters - all of which can play a role in depression,” said lead researcher, Dr. Bruce R.…

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Creating a more equal and inclusive workplace should be one of the top goals of every organisation. According to the government of Canada, among a number of other clear benefits, an equal playing field has the potential to ignite a more prosperous economy while upholding fairness and justice in our society.

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March 8 was International Women’s Day (IWD) which is celebrated each year across the globe on March 8th. This powerful movement was adopted by the United Nations in 1975, and is a day of togetherness, celebration, reflection, and action.

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Top employers all across Canada provide comprehensive and robust benefits packages for their employees. But, many standard benefits packages focus on physical health, primarily, and offer very little in the way of mental health and general workplace well-being and support.

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February 29th is International RSI Awareness Day! This powerful movement is celebrated each year on the last day of February, the only non-repetitive day of the year. RSI is a general term used to describe injuries to the muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, and other soft tissues.

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Gowan Consulting has embarked on a mission to inspire change in workplaces, and improve the mental well-being of professionals across Canada. Our new Happiness Challenge is based on research by Shawn Achor, NY Times best-selling author of The Happiness Advantage and Big Potential.

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The recent outbreak of the Coronavirus has dominated news lately, and many professionals are worried about the implications for their workplace. According to a recent article by Ryan Campbell at DLA Piper, a global law firm, employers have a duty to ensure a safe workplace for their employees.

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Stress can be an incredibly difficult emotional response to overcome, and if ignored it can often lead to burnout.

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The Bell Let’s Talk initiative began in 2010 with the goal of starting a conversation about mental health, and mental illness in Canada.

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If you’ve spent time volunteering or giving back, you know just how great it can make you feel.

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Many of us struggle with anxiety on a day-to-day basis with no real means of dealing with, or coping with these very natural, but powerful emotional responses.

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According to a recent report by the CSA Group, one in five violent incidents in Canada occur in the workplace.

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Practicing mindfulness in the workplace has become a more prominent trend in recent years, and according to Mindwell, more and more organizations are investing in this approach, and finding success.

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