Blue Monday is considered the most depressing day of the year. It has been mentioned in numerous articles and publications over the past few years, but it is only the result of a well-executed public relations operation. So why do we keep talking about it year after year? Because, even if the concept itself is pure invention, the circumstances and the period in which it occurs could not be truer.
It is a known and proven fact that seasonal depression is a very common condition that often brings back the topic of mental health stigma that has been the focus of much discussion over the past two years. The problem affects half of all Canadians and is exacerbated when temperatures drop due to winter.
In one survey, 63% of physicians said that depression, anxiety disorders, or stress-related problems were the fastest growing conditions in recent years.
Added to this are the negative effects of the pandemic. Since the onset of the pandemic, working requires even more energy and adds to the psychological load. As a result, 77% of adults report feeling so-called negative emotions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a studio with over 150 employees, it is important for us to create an environment where employees feel valued, supported, and cared for. Then comes the golden question: how do you make a person feel good? Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet here. However, there are several things that companies can do to support their employees and give them what they need.
Even if they have already taken certain actions, such as offering 2 weeks of well-deserved rest for the Holiday Season, the current government measures put in place to counter the health crisis, limit certain team building practices and activities outside of working hours. Another tool is available to us though: technology. Faced with the health constraints, we consulted the Montreal-based company Dialogue to set up a support and wellness program, available pro-actively and/or reactively for all Reflectorians.
Their platform is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (even at night) and members have access to a team of mental health professionals including therapists, practitioners, etc. to provide support, a listening ear, and advice in a safe environment through virtual care consultations. They can be utilized to help assess and treat conditions such as anxiety, isolation, insomnia, depression, and stress, among others. The goal of this program is to provide employees with tangible means and resources to support them in their quest for wellness. Articles, webinars, tests, and professionals are at their disposal to customize a program that will suit each particular case. An assessment is first conducted to connect a person with a specialist who can best meet their needs. A team will then be put together to monitor the treatment trajectory and optimize the program.
And since the issue of mental health is one that we need to discuss throughout the year, we have also decided to implement mandatory recovery time to allow all of our teams to fully unwind. Whether it is Friday afternoons offered during the summer, 4-day weekends for National Holidays, such as July 1st and Labor Day, or the 2 weeks the studio is closed during the Holiday Season, the goal is to offer time fully dedicated to their personal lives and their loved ones.
These are difficult times, and it is beyond overdue to remove the stigma around mental health. We are all affected in one way or another, and it is important for us to provide all the tools available so that each and every member of our team can lead a balanced life.
#ReflectorEntertainment #JoinReflector #JumpIntoOurWorld