A full house of 50 business and community leaders packed the boardroom of the London (ON) Chamber of Commerce for that community’s first-ever business-community roundtable on mental health and employment on April 26. The event was co-hosted by Pillar Non-Profit, the London Chamber of Commerce, the United Way of London and Middlesex, Prince’s Charities Canada and the Wellesley Institute.
Mental health and mental illness loom as big issues for business and for workers. For people directly experiencing mental health issues, there are challenges accessing and maintaining employment. For employers, there are not only challenges in supporting workers who are directly experiencing mental health issues, but also supporting workers who have family members (children or others) who are facing mental health issues.
The roundtable helped business and community leaders to better understand the range of issues and concerns, and to start to identify good practices in terms of mental health in the workplace. In the Wellesley Institute’s research and policy work, we know that there are strong links between precarious employment, mental health and personal health – and that all of this impacts on the population health of the entire community.
As an applied research and policy institute, we know that multi-sectoral partnerships are key to making real progress. In our work, we seek to identify good practices that can make a positive difference, and then work with key partners to build the conditions for those good practices to be scaled and replicated.
The London session had several key objectives: To engage London business and community leaders in a meaningful dialogue about mental health and employment; to identify good practices in mental health and employment; and to engage business leaders in a major event being planned for the early summer that will include visits to three successful social enterprises in London that work in the area of mental health and employment.
More on the Wellesley Institute’s innovation and enterprise work here.