May 11, 2016
During the first week of May, Torys hosted a schedule of events to mark Mental Health Week. At Torys, we are committed to promoting the mental well-being of our people, improving awareness about mental illness and fostering a supportive culture for our colleagues who may be struggling. We aligned our theme this year—Get Loud—with that of the Canadian Mental Health Association and held a number of initiatives to encourage people to learn, talk, reflect and engage with others on all issues relating to mental health.
Ann Dowsett Johnston, award-winning writer, journalist and public policy advocate kicked off the week by sharing her personal experience, research and insight into addiction and mental illness. John Gulak and Cindy Radu, co-authors of the book Sick to Death of the Silence and tireless advocates for mental health, spoke to our colleagues in Calgary about their lived experiences and the personal and organizational strides we can take to break down stigma. Finally, Richard Axel from Morneau Shepell spoke to our New York office about stress management, providing strategies and a personal workbook for minimizing stress.
During the week, we promoted our EAP resources. We encouraged staff to take a short break and provided everyone with healthy snack bags. Staff were guided to reflect on their existing habits by writing down how they deal with stress and the things for which they are grateful. Staff also contributed poignant personal stories of their experiences with mental illness that were shared through the firm’s intranet.
Here at Torys, we aim to foster a culture of wellness that speaks to the mind, body and spirit. Our Mental Health Week initiatives sought to promote awareness, compassion and understanding, and help fight the stigma that so often accompanies mental illness.