Advice and resources to help protect the mental health of you and your employees.
The last few months have taken their toll on our collective mental health. There are plenty of positive actions business owners and managers can take to protect and nurture their own mental health, and the mental health of their team. Get some tips for business owners and mental health resources.
On this page:
Mental Health Tips for Business Owners
Empathy is Key
We’re living in unprecedented times. People cope with this reality in different ways, and it’s likely some team members simply cannot reach the level of productivity they could before the pandemic. This doesn’t mean they aren’t trying, nor is it grounds for discipline. Instead, let team members know you are there for them and provide helpful resources and links to mental health supports. The BC Mental Health Support Line can be reached at 310-6789, any time.
Offer Flexible Hours
Traditionally, many workplaces have operated on a set schedule, with staff expected to be present for the same times each day. Given the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, this way of working may not be feasible for many team members. For example, those with young children likely don’t have access to traditional childcare facilities. Rather than focusing on hours, consider focusing on output. Gather staff once per week and go through the priorities for the week ahead, ensure every staff member understands their key tasks, and let them decide on how and when they’re best positioned to work on them.
Keep the Community Together
At Small Business BC, we’ve been working remotely since March. Keeping our team members connected during this time has involved innovative solutions like a virtual break room over Zoom, regular team catch ups, and Friday team activities like trivia or Pictionary. This idea can be amended and extended to fit any business. Options could include a virtual ‘happy hour,’ book club or even a movie watch party helping to keep teams bonded together. While we are being asked to remain physically distant from one another, this doesn’t mean we have to remain socially distant too.
Keep Staff Informed
Every business has been impacted by COVID-19 in some way. Whether it’s been a loss of business, or a change in operations, ensure team members are fully informed of what’s going on, and what’s likely to come. There’s so much uncertainty surrounding the future. If staff feel they are up to date and informed of what’s happening in their professional lives, it represents one less major worry in their lives. If you don’t have the answers, that’s ok. Be up front about it. When staff can contribute to creating future plans, give them the opportunity to do so.
Mental Health Resources
Virtual Mental Health Supports during Covid 19
A list of services providing virtual support to British Columbians experiencing a variety of mental health challenges during this difficult time.
HealthLink BC Mental Health Resources
It’s perfectly normal to feel confused, sad and anxious with the situation surrounding COVID-19. Healthlink BC has gathered this comprehensive list of mental health resources to lean on during this challenging time.
Wellness Together Canada
An online portal from the Government of Canada that provides Canadians with free resources, tools, and professional support services to help with wellness and resilience, as well as mental health and substance use.
Mental well-being during COVID-19
Tips and resources for supporting mental well-being during COVID-19 from the BC Centre for Disease Control.
WorkSafeBC Mental Wellness Guides
WorkSafeBC published "Mental health effects of COVID-19 in the workplace" guides for workers and employers.
A free skill-building program designed to help adults and youth 15+ manage low mood, mild to moderate depression, anxiety, stress or worry. Delivered online or over the phone with a coach, you will get access to tools that will support you on your path to mental wellness.
Anxiety Canada Coping with COVID-19 Resources
For years, Anxiety Canada has been working to develop free digital resources based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) that teach people about anxiety and how to cope. They have compiled a list of some of their most relevant and most-used resources.
Phone Numbers for Immediate Help
If you are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including thoughts of suicide.
310Mental Health Support (310-6789)
For emotional support and mental health resources.
KUU-US Crisis Response Service (1-800-588-8717)
Culturally-aware crisis support for Indigenous peoples in B.C.