Our Spring MHW Newsletter highlighting Safety . Discover resources, articles, and events to support a Healthy Workplace.



Spring 2021


The theme of this MHW Newsletter is Safety First. In this edition, we aim to provide you with up-to-date articles and tools to support your proactive efforts at keeping your workplace Safe. Nestled in the safety of our homes, we can often overlook risks related to technology. Find out what our experts have to say about staying safe online. Our physical health and safety are unquestionably top of mind as we negotiate the pandemic and prepare for our “next normal”. Highly committed teams of McGill professionals are examining physical setups, logistics and scenarios.


Equally important is how we respond to our psychological and emotional health, after 14 months of change and uncertainty. My Healthy Workplace has rolled out a set of guidelines to support mental health that reaches across McGill, providing staff with various training options and supports. Find out more about what is available for you and your team today. Last week, hundreds of McGill employees participated in a broad range of sessions in recognition of Mental Health Week. Many left the sessions highly committed to bringing the knowledge back to their respective teams. Together, we are doing a lot to encourage a psychologically safe and inclusive workplace, where everyone can learn, contribute and belong.

While you stay safe, do remember to have fun! It’s good for your health. Find out how 400 employees had fun with the Healthier Together Challenge. Still feeling like challenging yourself? Try our MHW Quiz and stand a chance to win a Fitbit!



Psychological Safety, Psychosocial Factors


The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) has developed a series of short animated videos that aim to raise awareness around the 13 factors that can impact the mental health of employees in the workplace and encourage conversations on methods for promoting psychologically safe places to work. Psychological Protection is one of the 13 psychosocial factors, and as Amy C. Edmondson (Harvard Business School) describes it: “Psychological Safety is a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns or mistakes”. But what does Psychological Safety look like in the “Next Normal”? How will we be able to cultivate it in a hybrid workplace? Find out more here.



Safe Inclusive Workspaces


McGill’s Equity Team in the Office of the Provost provides education, support and initiatives related to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI), to help everyone contribute in creating and maintaining safe workspaces for all. The University’s 5-year EDI Strategic Plan maps out objectives and McGill's commitment to “embed EDI in all core areas of the University”, by thinking about how equity, diversity and inclusion relate to employee's day-to-day work. Visit the Equity Team’s website to learn more about what they do; to find resources on topics such as: Anti-Black Racism, Disability, Gender and Sexuality and Indigenous Support; and to check out their calendar for upcoming events to see how you and your teams can get involved in building inclusive workspaces.





LifeWorks was recently launched as a part of the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) and offers resources and tools to help you thrive. For Mental Health awareness month, LifeWorks launched a microsite with a focus on Building your self-care toolkit which explores why self-care should be part of your routine and how to incorporate it into your daily life. The Health and Well-being Program also offers additional wellness resources during Covid-19.



Stay Safe Online


Staying safe online is an essential part of everyone's McGill experience. With many of us working exclusively off campus, now more than ever it is important that we know how to stay safe while we work online. Protect your personal information, your research or work data, and devices with tips and resources from McGill IT Services. Also, check out McGill's Secure Your Journey website for McGill's University-wide cybersecurity campaign.



Take the MHW Quiz


Need a 5-minute break? Want a Fitbit? For a chance to win a Fitbit, please take some time to complete our 13-question My Healthy Workplace Quiz and test your knowledge on this important initiative at McGill. By completing this quiz, your name will be put in a draw to win a Fitbit, regardless of your score. Just be sure to leave your name and your McGill email address so that we can contact the winner!

Have fun, and happy learning!



Mental Health: A Priority at McGill


A few My Healthy Workplace partners (HR's Organizational Development, the Benefits Team, and the Health and Well-Being Program) all work together to provide training, tools and resources to support administrative staff on their journey towards a Healthier Workplace. Find out more here.




Mental Health Week at McGill


During Mental Health Week, almost 300 participants attended 10 sessions to learn more about ways to support mental health in the workplace and beyond, including themes on Anxiety, Burnout, Resilience, Breathing, and Nutrition. Click here for Mental Health resources from the Health and Wellbeing Program.



Navigating through the Transition


Although we may be looking forward to less restrictions and returning to a reality that is more similar to pre-pandemic life, the adjustment will take time. This next transition may invoke stress and impact our mental health. For individuals who are part of the McGill Benefits Program, LifeWorks offers a New Normal Pandemic Toolkit for individuals and managers offering reading to help guide the transition. If you have not yet joined LifeWorks - visit the Benefits Lifeworks webpage to find out how.



Physical Health and Safety


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) "personal prevention practices (such as handwashing, staying home when sick) and environmental prevention practices (such as cleaning and disinfection) are important principles that help lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure and spread on campuses”. McGill University has been working hard to review, update, and implement emergency operations plans (EOPs) as per the CDC and government recommendations. There are guidelines to keep our buildings safe, including specific cleaning protocols, workspace re-arrangements, and clear signage for our gradual return to campus. The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has also prepared a toolkit to ensure we all adhere to the same checklist as we resume activities on campus. Watch the April 20th 2021 Town Hall here in order to better understand how McGill University is preparing for the “Next Normal”.


Healthier Together Challenge:

McGill Steps It Up


For 6 weeks starting at the end of February, 400 McGill employees organized into 69 teams participated in a resiliency challenge via an interactive online platform. The challenge encouraged more movement, connection and mindfulness. Read more to learn the various ways in which it impacted behaviour change, connection and competition among employees and their teams.



Karen Oberer, Sustainability Officer and longtime amateur birder, hosts Urban Birding: Practicing Wellness Through Nature Exploration, and invites you to experience it for yourselves during a walking break. Click here to learn more and to register.


We want to hear from you!


Send the MHW News editorial team an email to let us know what you think of this issue. Please contact us to suggest an initiative to highlight, or if you are interested in contributing an article.