By: Denise Simas Baltazar, Senior Manager, Diversity, Development & Inclusion
While January can often be a sign of new beginnings and a general refresh for some, it is also when many of us feel the effects of over-extending ourselves during the holidays. Couple that with the current situation of an ongoing COVID-19 case surge and a return to early-pandemic restrictions – it is safe to say that the mental health of Canadians across the country is something we should all be monitoring and supporting.
At Compass Group Canada, we continue to foster a culture of compassion and and empathy. This is why we launched our just now mental health and wellness initiative in 2019, with a focus on providing resources and safe, judgement-free spaces for all our team members.
Our just now initiative was founded by our Chief People &Culture Officer, Lauren Davey. Lauren’s desire to sponsor this program was a personal one; the tragic loss of a friend to suicide who used the lower-case initials “jn” as her signature. Honouring her friend, the initials jn, turned into just now, because there is no time like the present to make a difference.
The purpose behind just now is to provide associates with mental health resources from trusted experts, foster open dialogue among our colleagues and break the barriers of stigma around talking about mental health. Our goal is to inspire everyone to make inclusion and well-being a priority – not tomorrow or the next day, but just now.
Since launching, we’ve focused on providing trusted options, and encouraging personal mental health awareness, including initiatives such as health and wellness bonuses for our 15,000+ field associates – to use towards something that made them smile, mental health and wellness training for all our people leaders, bi-monthly virtual sessions (available on-demand) with mental health professionals on topics such as self-care and how to find the right support, as well as sharing an externally available resource site, justnowcompass.com.
As we begin this year and acknowledge the difficulties January can bring, we recognize the ongoing value of having open and judgement-free discussions around mental health. This year, we are reaffirming our commitment to mental wellness through:
- Continuing virtual learning sessions with mental health and wellness practitioners, to keep the conversations going
- Partnership with Bell Let’s Talk Day through our Chartwells education sector, to highlight mental health concerns in the educational & student communities and their 2022 theme of Listening
- An upcoming refresh and relaunch of our external website, further focusing on equity, diversity and inclusion as mental health stabilizers, with a rally cry of we are stronger together.
- Recirculating collateral around availability for all our associates to access our 24/7 Employee and Family Assistance Program (EAFP)
- Continuing to grow our Wellness Sessions resource centre where associates can find all just now session recordings on demand for themselves or loved ones, as we understand that not all our sessions are available at suitable times
- Upgrading our recognition programs to continue to highlight and reward even more of our amazing associates.
Our commitment to is to make health and wellbeing a priority and we will continue to share information and resources and continue to actively seek feedback. Remember, you are never alone and we truly are stronger together.
For anyone who has struggled this January – below are three reputable and free resource options to help you through a tough moment. Please do not hesitate to use their resources.
- Text HOME to 686868 in Canada to text with a trained Crisis Responder