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Sessions on mental health in the workplace

Mental health campaigners are to highlight changes to the law on mental health in the workplace in a series of events.

The Bermuda Mental Health Foundation and the Employee Assistance Programme have joined forces to provide lunch and learn sessions on new legislation designed to extend human rights protection to people suffering from mental disabilities.

Jodi Lewis, of the BMHF, said her organisation had conducted an “extremely successful” schools tour last year and discussed coping skills and other topics with more than 3,000 pupils.

“Now we would like to engage the local-owned and/or Bermudian-based businesses and what better way is there to do this than to directly go to as many businesses as possible to discuss mental health in the workplace,” she said.

The House of Assembly in May this year passed amendments to protect people with mental illness from discrimination by extending the definition of disability in the Human Rights Act to include mental disability.

Doris Decosta, executive director of the EAP, said: “It is estimated that one third of those with mental illnesses are employed.

“Yearly, we conduct a workshop dealing with and recognising mental health in the workplace to help employers, management staff and employees look at some of the common categories of mental illnesses as well as highlight strategies for supporting employees with mental health issues.

“This year we will also look at aspects of the new legislation regarding mental health in Bermuda and how it may affect the workplace.

“Our workshops and the tour ‘thrive in the workplace with mental health friendly workplace environments' will assist employers and management staff to promote positive ways to mental health and wellbeing.”

Ms Decosta added that the EAP dealt with 216 companies across the island and 12,000-plus employees and their families on a range of workplace issues.

She said: “One of the biggest issues is for the workplace and how they can accommodate people with mental health issues.

“What's great for people with mental health issues is there is a little bit more understanding about these people who have issues.

“One of the things we're trying to do is create a mental health friendly work environment. The legislation is trying to bring it to the same standard as the world standard.”

Companies interested in taking part in the tour, which will take place between Monday, August 22 to Thursday, September 21 and is free of charge, should call the EAP at 292 9000 or e-mail info@eap.bm.

Jodi Lewis, of the Bermuda Mental Health Foundation

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Published August 09, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated August 09, 2016 at 2:21 am)

Sessions on mental health in the workplace

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