Couldn’t everyone use a mentally healthier workplace?

DME staff Peter Toombs, Robert Bruce, Scott Gallant and Whitney Hooper wear their "mood buttons."

Strengthening Mental Health Services -

When you ask “how are you doing” when passing someone at work, do you really want to know the answer?

Prince Edward Island’s DME Group is helping employees tell the truth about mental health and creating a mentally healthier workplace in the process. Employees are encouraged to wear "mood buttons" every day – provided by Partners for Mental Health – that help illustrate to others in the company how each person is feeling each day.

The buttons say things like "Blessed," "Stressed," "Sad," and "Mad." The goal is to get an honest answer encouraging everyone to ask the question “how are you feeling today?’

It’s part of the Heads First Campaign, which consists of several different initiatives including employee training, a drug and alcohol program and general awareness.

“Over our 25 years in business I’ve come to see many people within the corporate family and our extended families struggle with mental wellness,” says the CEO of DME, Peter Toombs.

“It really is something that affects each of us at one point or another, and I wanted to make sure our employees and our communities felt supported by the DME Group.”

The DME group employees over 350 individuals across Newlands Systems in Abbotsford, British Columbia, DME Brewing Solutions in Charlottetown, and a manufacturing facility in Loris, South Carolina. They specialize in the custom design and fabrication of equipment for brewing, biotech, industrial, and food and beverage.

Heads First is part of a new mental health campaign called NotMyselfToday, aimed at helping companies and organizations build mentally healthier workplaces and inviting employees to open up about mental health. The goal is to support employees, reduce stigma, and raise funds.

NotMyselfToday has provided its program to more than 450 companies including DME which got on board this summer. The program has been implemented across all DME Group facilities.

A mentally healthy workforce is good for business – it can enhance performance and lower costs associated with disability and absenteeism.

“We are noticing people having conversations in the hallways or the lunchrooms about how they are feeling, or what might be going on in their lives outside of work,” Toombs explained. “We want our employees to feel safe to share these things at work, and I’m confident that we will make significant strides with this campaign.”

In addition to the employee support program, the DME Group will also be conducting fundraising activities in British Columbia and Prince Edward Island in support of the Canadian Mental Health Association. Payroll deductions and company-wide activities are planned for the next calendar year, and DME has committed to match each dollar raised.

Toombs set a fundraising goal of $25,000 for the year which the company has already surpassed. The funds raised through this initiative will support programs through the Canadian Mental Health Association in both British Columbia and Prince Edward Island.

Information PEI Mental Health Services

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