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The Working Mind

Through stigma reduction and mental health awareness, The Working Mind (TWM) program seeks to change Canadians’ behaviours and attitudes toward people living with mental illness, helping to ensure people are treated fairly and as full citizens with opportunities to contribute to society like anyone else. Program participants have shown an increase in resiliency skills and mental health wellbeing, and a decrease in stigmatizing attitudes.

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About The Working Mind

Stigma is a major barrier preventing people from seeking help for mental health problems or mental illness. The fear of stigma often delays diagnosis and treatment. If identified and treated early, mental health concerns can be temporary and reversible. Employees who understand normal reactions to stress and how to manage these reactions are more resilient. They have the ability to recover from stress, traumatic events, and adverse situations. It is possible to train people to recognize changes in their own mental health and become more resilient.

Why choose The Working Mind?

  • Evidence-based, founded on best practices, research, and methodologies
  • Part of the largest systematic effort in Canadian history focused on reducing stigma related to mental illness
  • Solutions-focused, aimed at cultivating an environment where people feel comfortable seeking help, treatment, and support on their journey toward recovery.

The Working Mind (TWM) is part of the Opening Minds initiative, managed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC).

Launched by MHCC in 2013, TWM was developed by clinicians and peers and based on scientific research and best-practices.

TWM has been adapted to fit the general workplace audience and was developed with help from the following project partners: University of Calgary, Mount Royal University, Husky Energy, Nova Scotia Community College, Government of Nova Scotia, Capital District Health (NS/Halifax).

Opening Minds is the largest systematic effort in Canadian history focused on reducing stigma related to mental illness. Established by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) in 2009, it seeks to change Canadians’ behaviours and attitudes toward people living with mental illness to ensure they are treated fairly and as full citizens with opportunities to contribute to society like anyone else.

Tackling stigma on multiple fronts

Opening Minds is addressing stigma within four main target groups: health care providers, youth, the workforce, and the media. As such, the initiative has multiple goals, ranging from improving health care providers’ understanding of the needs of people with mental health problems to encouraging youth to talk openly and positively about mental illness.

Ultimately, the goal of Opening Minds is to cultivate an environment in which those living with mental illness feel comfortable seeking help, treatment, and support on their journey toward recovery.

Why stigma?

People living with mental health disorders often say that the stigma they encounter is worse than the illness itself.

A number of programs across Canada are working on reducing stigma. Opening Minds has been evaluating more than 70 of these projects to identify those most effective at reducing stigma so they can be replicated across Canada. Evidence gathered through these evaluations will reveal best practices that will contribute to the development of anti-stigma toolkits and other resources .

At the same time, Opening Minds’ evaluation process is forging ties throughout Canada’s mental health field, creating a valuable network for sharing best practices and programs designed to reduce stigma.

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Program Descriptions

The Working Mind (TWM) Virtual is an evidence-based program designed to promote mental health and reduce the stigma around mental illness in the workplace.

The Working Mind is designed to:

  • Increase your awareness of mental health;
  • Reduce stigma and other barriers to care in the workplace;
  • Encourage mental health conversations;
  • Strengthen your resilience in order to maintain wellness;
  • Help you support yourself and others

The Working Mind First Responders (TWMFR), formerly known as Road to Mental Readiness, is an education-based program designed to address and promote mental health and reduce the stigma of mental illness in a first-responder setting. This training program is aimed to:

  • Improve short-term performance and long-term mental health outcomes
  • Reduce barriers to care and encourage early access to care
  • Provide the tools and resources required to manage and support employees who may be experiencing a mental illness
  • Assist supervisors in maintaining their own mental health as well as promoting positive mental health in their employees

The Inquiring Mind Post-Secondary (TIM PS) Virtual is an evidence-based program designed to address and promote mental health and reduce the stigma of mental illness in an educational / student setting. TIM PS was adapted from the existing evidence-based program The Working Mind from the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

The Inquiring Mind Post-Secondary Virtual course aims to:

  • support the mental health and well-being of students,
  • enable the full academic, personal and interpersonal success of students,
  • encourage students to seek help for mental illness, and
  • ensure the campus is respectful and inclusive of all students, including those with mental health problems.

The Working Mind (TWM) is an evidence-based program designed to promote mental health and reduce the stigma around mental illness in the workplace.

y reducing stigma and discrimination, TWM helps organizations create a culture that fosters greater awareness and support for mental health among employees, managers, and employers.

The Inquiring Mind Youth is currently in development. This mental health training program, for young people aged 14 to 18, will be offered in schools and community-based settings. Through interactive modules, this program aims to

  • reduce negative attitudes towards someone experiencing poor mental health
  • create awareness on how to implement healthy coping strategies
  • build a general understanding of how to be supportive to others and when to seek help.

The Working Mind First Responders (TWMFR), formerly known as Road to Mental Readiness, is an education-based program designed to address and promote mental health and reduce the stigma of mental illness in a first-responder setting.

The Working Mind is designed to:

  • Improve short-term performance and long-term mental health outcomes;
  • Reduce barriers to care and encourage early access to care;
  • Provide the tools and resources required to manage and support first responders who may be experiencing a mental illness; and
  • Assist supervisors in maintaining their own mental health as well as promoting positive mental health in their employees.

TIM PS is an evidence-based program designed to address and promote mental health and reduce the stigma of mental illness in an educational / student setting. TIM PS was adapted from existing evidence-based program The Working Mind from the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

The Working Mind is designed to:

  • reduce stigma and negative attitudes towards those struggling with poor mental health
  • help participants maintain mental health and improve resilience and coping strategies
  • teach participants about the Mental Health Continuum Model
  • foster a supportive campus community 
  • support others

The Working Mind (TWM) Healthcare focuses on providing workers in the healthcare industry with the tools to promote mental health in the workplace while also reducing the stigma of mental illness.

The Working Mind is designed to:

  • Understand mental health/illness;
  • Recognize signs and indicators in themselves and others;
  • Reduce stigma and negative attitudes towards people with mental health problems in a healthcare setting;
  • Support colleagues with mental health issues;
  • Maintain their own mental health and improve their resilience.

The Working Mind (TWM) Healthcare focuses on providing workers in the healthcare industry with the tools to promote mental health in the workplace while also reducing the stigma of mental illness.

The Working Mind is designed to:

  • Understand mental health/illness;
  • Recognize signs and indicators in themselves and others;
  • Reduce stigma and negative attitudes towards people with mental health problems in a healthcare setting;
  • Support colleagues with mental health issues;
  • Maintain their own mental health and improve their resilience.

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