EAP NewsBrief
Nov. 4, 2014

Why business is finally talking about mental health at the top
Issues surrounding mental health affect people from all walks of life, including high-level corporate executives. In recent years, some top execs have opened up about their challenges related to mental well-being — with a candor that could have widespread effects. High profile cases have highlighted the need for companies to be prepared to deal with any health issues, including mental, among executives, while keeping in mind both the protection of the business and of executives' privacy.More

Legal implications of managing mental health in the workplace
Benefits Canada
With mental health issues a leading cause of disability these days, employers need to understand the legal implications and risks if they don't handle such cases well. Julia Kaisla, director of community engagement for the Canadian Mental Health Association, BC division, and Julie Menten, an associate at Roper Greyell LLP, a Vancouver law firm specializing in employment and labor issues, spoke at the 2014 Benefits & Pension Summit in Vancouver about the impact of mental health in the workplace and how employers can avoid lawsuits arising from claims of discrimination.More

5 clever ways companies are helping employees fight burnout
The Washington Post
For the overworked modern American employee, the policies and perks offered by some of the most generous companies sound like manna from the corporate gods. Onsite climbing walls. Free housekeeping. Chef-catered meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Yet however nice such benefits may be, they can also end up acting as subtle ways to get employees to work more. It saves time and stress to have a company dry cleaner, free gourmet snacks and made-to-order mochas down the hall or access to a health clinic on the corporate campus. Still, there's an implied message: "We'll provide you everything here onsite, so you never really have to leave."More

Loopholes block access to behavioral health care
U.S. News & World Report
A flood of patients who have become newly insured under the Affordable Care Act are visiting doctor's offices and hospitals, causing some health workers to worry about how they can provide care to everyone in need. One group, however, isn't lining up for care: People with mental health issues or substance use disorders.More

Good workplace mental health support improves recruitment and retention
Workplace Savings & Benefits
Employees believe that positive approaches by organizations can make them more motivated, and improve recruitment and retention rates. However many do not feel comfortable discussing their mental health with their line manager and have either left or considered leaving a job because of the approach to mental well-being.More

From soldier to champion for mental health
Montreal Gazette
Stephane Grenier stepped off a Hercules aircraft under a blast of gunfire with the Canadian peacekeeping forces during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. That, recalled the retired lieutenant-colonel, "was the beginning of the rest of my life." He became addicted to the adrenalin of dangerous war zones and peace missions — Afghanistan, Cambodia, Kuwait and Haiti to name a few — anything was better than home. Civilians, he felt, couldn't relate to soldiers returning from war-torn areas with a combination of grief, stress, trauma and depression. After struggling alone with undiagnosed post traumatic stress disorder, Grenier transformed himself from a suicidal soldier to a champion for mental health.More

Overcoming stigma of mental illness, substance abuse
The News-Press
The stigma for young people with mental illness or who abuse substances continues to be a problem despite every effort to educate the public toward a more tolerant, supportive attitude. For young people, feeling different is embarrassing. It is humiliating to hear someone make a negative remark about mental illness or treatment. Young people who self-medicate by abusing drugs may be doing to avoid treatment and the unkind comments that follow.More

EEOC sues Honeywell over wellness program
Modern Healthcare
Honeywell International's wellness program has crossed the line from helping employees to hurting them, according to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the company in federal court recently. The EEOC alleges that Honeywell is violating the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act by requiring its employees and their covered spouses to undergo biometric testing or face penalties.More

Study: Employer bias against mental health conditions rife
A study of employer attitudes towards staff with mental health conditions has revealed that 94 percent of U.K. leaders admit prejudice against sufferers remains an issue in their organization. The research from Bupa, outlined in its report "Breaking the Silence," also found that a third of business leaders think that employees with mental health illnesses will fail to return to full productivity. In responses to the study, some leaders said they "labelled" these members of staff as unpredictable, weak and erratic.More