DM Roundtable recognizes department’s unsung mental health ambassadors

Deputy Minister's Roundtable on Mental Health participants for 2019 ***Table ronde des sous-ministres sur la santé mentale des participants pour 2019

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Healthy teams are built by kind, supportive and courageous people who take good ideas, and run with them. That was the takeaway from the first Deputy Minister (DM) Roundtable on Mental Health, which took place on June 13, 2019 during National Public Service Week.

The roundtable participants were nominated by their colleagues for their contributions in improving the overall well-being in their workplaces. Thirteen nominees were selected to be recognized by the DM, Jody Thomas, during a special roundtable discussion on mental health in the workplace.

This event provided a unique opportunity for employees to share best practices with the DM, in her role as Mental Health Co-Champion, and with colleagues from across the Defence Team.

During the discussion, participants shared a variety of ideas for improving well-being and morale in the workplace. Several participants stressed the importance of leaders implementing a true open door policy, sharing our own mental health stories, and being willing to listen to others in times of distress. They also shared their ideas for tackling the mental health challenge of compassion fatigue among frontline staff, whose job of supporting others can take a real toll.

Several participants championed the impact that physical health has on mental health, and organize lunchtime walking, yoga, basketball and boot camp exercise classes. The participants also reiterated the importance of bringing silliness and fun into the workplace, be it with an office whiteboard with a daily, lighthearted poll question, or a monthly get together with the sole purpose of eating cake.

After a fruitful discussion, each of the attendees was recognized by the DM for their role in making National Defence a better place to work. Bravo zulu to this dynamic group!

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