Submitted by Marylee Boston
As a small community it can be challenging to take on big ideas but that’s when you call in support from the “neighbours”. This is just what the Fenelon Falls Chamber of Commerce did when the opportunity to apply for a Small Business Week Event sponsored by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and WSIB came up. There were only four spots so to increase the chance for success we invited our fellow Chambers from across the City of Kawartha Lakes to participate. In the end Lindsay, Coboconk, Norland & Area, Haliburton Highlands, and Bancroft & District Chambers partnered with us. It was this partnership that helped secure the sponsorship to host a Mental Health in the Workplace event for business owners in the City of Kawartha Lakes as part of Small Business Week.
The Curling Club was nearly to capacity on Monday night for the Mental Health in the Workplace event which was the first one of the 2018 Small Business Week. The expert panelists discussed mental health; the misconceptions, the stigmas, tips for employers, and an explanation of some of the available resources. The discussion was informative, practical and even provided a few laughs while tackling such a complex topic. The evening concluded with a time for networking with fellow business owners and the panelists. Door prizes donated by The City of Kawartha Lakes, Oak Street Pilates and the Bancroft & District Chamber were given out to three lucky winners but no one went home empty handed as each person received a “Stress Relief” gift bag.
Hosting this event was only possible because of a partnership with our local Chambers of Commerce. In this same way we can support each other to build strong and healthy workplaces. Whether you are self employed or own a large company the most important thing to know is that you are not alone. Find and build a network of people to help you manage the stressors that will come in life or business.
Mental health is a complicated and difficult topic but we can only make positive change if we start the conversation so thank you to all those who joined us Monday night. A special thanks to the panelists; Andrew Harkness – WSPS, Michelle Mraz- WSIB, Anna Froebe – HRAccess, and Dr. Alison Longhorn-Geddes, C. Psych for sharing their time and knowledge and to the sponsors Ontario Chamber of Commerce and WSIB. We look forward to continuing the conversation about mental health in the workplace.
Pictures in the photo from L to R:
Trevor McPherson – OCC, Jennifer Wilson – Coboconk, Norland & Area Chamber, Marylee Boston – Fenelon Falls & District Chamber, Jennifer Locke – Haliburton Highlands Chamber, Gregg Webb – Bancroft & District Chamber, Colleen Collins - Lindsay Chamber, Miranda Popovic - Lindsay Chamber, Christine Whelan – Bobcaygeon Chamber