Tear down the wall
City employees commit to tear down the wall in support of mental health and well-being for all
Mental illness affects more than 20 per cent of the Canadian population directly and close to 100 per cent indirectly. Even though mental health problems are so prevalent, more than 60 per cent of those affected will not seek help because of the associated negative stigma.
The City of Calgary is bringing mental health into the spotlight to tear down the wall of negative stigma and start conversations among employees and leaders. To reduce stigma, the City recognizes that it’s necessary to change behaviours and attitudes toward acceptance, respect and equitable treatment of people living with mental health problems and mental illness.
This year, around 1000 City employees saw former NHL goalie Clint Malarchuk in person, sharing his personal struggle with OCD, anxiety, depression and alcoholism. The video of the presentation is available for employees to view from any device.
The City of Calgary joins many other employers across Canada in raising awareness, creating a safe place for people to seek support and providing tools to have safe conversations about mental health. Stigma reduction is part of the City’s multi-year strategy to address mental health in the workplace. It’s imperative that City employees feel safe and respected at work, regardless of whether someone has a mental health concern or not. This sentiment is echoed in the corporate employee promise and promoted through the 4 Cs of our culture: Character, Commitment, Competence, and Collaboration.
How you can help
- Treat everyone with respect
- Be genuine
- Show that you care and take an interest in colleagues and your own team
- Reflect on your own biases
- Pay attention to your own language, thoughts, and actions
- Challenge stigma when you see it
- Talk openly about mental illness. Here are a few conversation starters:
- What do you think about the stigma attached to mental illness?
- Have you or someone close to you experienced stigma?
- What did you think of Clint’s presentation?
- What are some of the ways you think we could reduce the stigma?
Homewood Health – Your Employee Family Assistance Program
Mental Health Commission of Canada – a catalyst for improving the mental health system and changing the attitudes and behaviours of Canadians
Canadian Mental Health Association – promotes the mental health of all and supports the resilience and recovery of people experiencing mental illness
Bell Let’s Talk - 5 simple ways to help end the stigma around mental illness
Calgary Distress Centre – 24 hour crisis support, professional counselling and 211 referrals - all at no cost.
Alberta Health Services – AHS information can help answer your questions
Green Shield Canada – You may qualify for additional counselling through your benefits plan. Contact Green Shield for more details.