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What is workplace mental health?

Mental health has become part of popular culture. There is emphasis - from professionals, from businesses, from influencers, and beyond - on the importance of taking steps to support your mental well-being.

Workplace mental health refers to the psychological well-being of employees within their work environment. It includes the emotional, cognitive, and social aspects of mental well-being in the context of what happens at work.

Key aspects of workplace mental health include:

Supportive Culture: Creating a workplace culture that prioritises mental health is key, and it is something everyone can collaborate on together. This involves encouraging open communication (between employees and their employer and between coworkers) which then promotes a supportive environment where employees feel comfortable seeking help (from their employer or from one another).

Stress Management: Work-related stress is a common factor affecting mental health. Meeting the individual needs of children, from planning and executing play based learning practises to implementing behaviour guidance strategies, is demanding. Continuous attention, emotional investment, and responsibility for children's development can contribute to stress, impacting mental health over time. In addition, workplace stress can be the result of aspects of the workplace itself. These aspects can include, but are not limited to, the workplace culture, role or job expectations, and the workload itself.

Skill-building and Education: Understanding how to recognize, manage, and cope with workplace stressors, as well as knowing ways to foster resilience and well-being in the face of those stressors is so important. As an ECE, these skills will support you professionally and personally. Developing these skills can have a ripple effect of navigating a better work-life balance, navigating interpersonal relationships with your fellow ECEs, and in fostering a positive emotional climate for the children in your care.

As an employer, a mentally healthy workforce enhances productivity, reduces absenteeism, and boosts morale.

Access to Mental Health Resources: A good place to start, as an employee or an employer, is the Mental Health Commission of Canada's Workplace Mental Health guide. Click here to access this set of online resources.

If you are an ELCC employer interested in offering access to mental health resources to your ELCC staff, share our website! Additionally, reach out to us (click here) and we can support your efforts. Access to mental health resources can include counselling services, mental health days, or resources for managing stress. It can also include providing quick access to materials that educate about mental well-being, as well as partnering with mental health professionals to provide information about available community resources.

Workplace mental health is a shared responsibility

For members of the ELCC workforce, it's important to prioritise learning how to identify stressors and understand your own mental well-being so that you can self-care, seek support, and build resilience.

ELCC employers benefit from fostering a supportive work culture through the provision of resources and working to address identified stressors in the workplace. A workplace that prioritises mental health will see improved morale, increased job satisfaction, and a positive organisational reputation.

Ultimately, a collaborative approach to workplace mental health ensures a positive work environment, where mental health is valued, leading to an ELCC workforce that can focus their energy on supporting the development of children.

Strong Minds Strong Kids (click here to learn more about this initative) provides a number of articles relating to workplace mental health that you can access by clicking here.


We look forward to connecting with you.

We are committed to listening to the diverse voices of the current and future ELCC community. Your questions, concerns, and opinions are important to us. We appreciate you taking the time to reach out and collaborate with us.