Morneau Shepell, Bell and Queen’s announce Canada’s first university-certified Mental Health Workplace Training Program

Toronto, Thursday, January 16, 2014

First university-certified workplace mental health training program aligned with the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace – Now available for all Canadian workplaces through Morneau Shepell

Morneau Shepell and Bell, in collaboration with the Faculty of Health Sciences at Queen’s University, today announced the launch of a progressive new workplace mental health certificate training program that teaches leadership skills in managing performance and promoting a mentally healthy workplace. Since 2010, Morneau Shepell has been an active partner in supporting Bell, a leader in Canadian mental health awareness, in the creation and delivery of its workplace mental health training program, including the development and integration of this new expanded training program, now available to all Canadian businesses and organizations.

“Workplace mental health is a key action pillar of the Bell Let’s Talk initiative, and Bell has embraced the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace as part of our approach,” said George Cope, President and CEO of Bell Canada and BCE. “Having implemented Canada’s first mandatory mental health training program for all managers, Bell is eager to move forward with this next phase of training in order to ensure a mentally healthy workplace. We encourage Canadian businesses of all kinds to integrate the Standard into their own health and safety programs.”

The Mental Health@Work Training Program is certified by Queen’s Faculty of Health Sciences with input from Dr. Heather Stuart, one of the world’s foremost experts on mental health disorders and stigma. It is the first university-certified workplace mental health training to be aligned with the new National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (the Standard), introduced one year ago today by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA Group) and the Bureau normalisation du Québec (BNQ) in collaboration with the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), with the support of Bell. Grounded in adult learning principles, the three-phased training program takes a blended approach that consists of in-class and online learning and a knowledge assessment process, with participants receiving a certificate from Queen’s upon successful completion of the training and exams.

According to the MHCC, mental health issues have a powerful and expanding impact in the workplace. While mental illness can often be invisible, the cost to the economy is an estimated $50 billion annually. Mental health challenges and illnesses are the number one cause of disability in Canada, and the MHCC estimates that between 10 and 25 per cent of mental disability costs directly incurred by many employers could be avoided. With this new training program from Morneau Shepell, Canadian workplaces of any size can join the movement to dramatically reduce this burden on Canadians and our economy.

To date, more than 4,000 Bell team leaders from across Canada have completed the original Morneau Shepell Mental Health@Work Training Program that covers mental health from both a health and business perspective, and introduces effective management practices in this area. The new expanded program builds on this previous training with three modules aimed at extending the scope and influence of Bell leaders by giving them additional skills, strategies and resources. Outcomes of the new training include leaders developing empathetic coaching skills and effective management practices focused on early intervention, recovery and return to work. All Bell team leaders will be required to complete the first two modules of the program. Upon successful completion of the optional third module, team leaders will receive a Mental Health@Work Certificate from Queen’s University.

“By adopting this training program, Bell has taken the next step in reinforcing its position as a clear leader in mental health in Canada, and the efforts to manage mental health in the workplace have taken a huge leap forward,” said Alan Torrie, President and Chief Executive Officer of Morneau Shepell. “The program, which has been certified by Queen’s, one of Canada’s leading universities, expands on current training designed by Morneau Shepell. It enables the in-depth development of leadership skills in managing the prevention of mental health issues and associated disability claims for any organization, as well as facilitating early intervention and the return to work for those impacted. The training also educates leaders on the scope of their role and influence in promoting a mentally healthy workplace and is an inspiration to other organizations to follow suit.”

“As many as one in five adult Canadians experience some form of mental illness in a given year, and as many as two-thirds will not seek help in large part due to fears of being stigmatized,” said Dr. Heather Stuart, Professor of Community Health and Epidemiology at Queen’s University and the first Bell Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair. “It’s wonderful to see Bell bring this issue to the forefront in their workplace. Their investment in creating awareness and building skills through comprehensive research-based training is making significant inroads in improving mental health in the workplace and removing stigma, something that those with mental illness often describe as being worse than the illness itself.”

“It is just one year since we launched the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace and the Commission is delighted to see Canada’s first mental health workplace training program with university certification,” said Louise Bradley, President and CEO of the Mental Health Commission of Canada. “We congratulate Bell and Morneau Shepell for their leadership in supporting good mental health in the workplace. Adopting the Standard is quite simply smart business.”

The Bell Let’s Talk mental health initiative
Dedicated to promoting Canadian mental health, Bell Let's Talk is built around four action pillars: anti-stigma, care and access, research, and workplace best practices. The fourth annual Bell Let's Talk Day, set for January 28, invites Canadians to join the conversation and help end the stigma around mental illness. On Bell Let’s Talk Day, Bell donates 5 cents for every text, mobile call, and long distance call made by Bell and Bell Aliant customers, every tweet using #BellLetsTalk, and every Facebook share of the Bell Let's Talk Day image. Bell’s donations are made at no extra charge to Bell Let’s Talk Day participants, though normal long distance or text charges, if any, apply. To date, Bell has already committed $62,043,289.30 to Canadian mental health based on its original $50 million commitment and participation in Bell Let’s Talk Day since 2011. To learn more please visit

About the Queen’s University Faculty of Health Sciences
Established by Royal Charter of Queen Victoria in 1841, Queen’s University is one of Canada’s leading universities, with an international reputation for scholarship, research, social purpose, and spirit. The Faculty of Health Sciences is comprised of three schools: medicine, nursing and rehabilitation therapy. The schools deliver undergraduate and post-graduate education programs in medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, biomedical and population sciences, to 2,300 students. The Faculty is one of Canada’s most research-intensive and contributes significantly to the research mission of Queen’s, attracting external funding of more than $80 million per annum.

About Morneau Shepell’s Workplace Mental Health Services and Expertise
Morneau Shepell has been a leader in workplace mental health for more than 30 years developing fulsome, innovative strategies and solutions that help management teams improve the productivity and performance of their organizations by creating psychologically healthy workplaces for their people. With mental health being the single most significant driver of disability absence cost, Morneau Shepell offers best-in-class Disability Management Solutions and is currently offering consulting-services to support leading organizations implement the new National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, introduced in 2013. Morneau Shepell is the Canadian or global first to market within a number of areas including, a Global Domestic Employee Assistance Program (EAP), a Global Expatriate EAP, Mental Health in the Workplace Training for Managers, Return-to-Work Facilitation and Workplace Harassment Solutions, among many others. Morneau Shepell offers end-to-end support to organizations in addressing the multi-faceted issue of workplace mental health.

About Morneau Shepell Inc.
Morneau Shepell is the largest company in Canada offering human resources consulting and outsourcing services. The Company is the leading provider of Employee and Family Assistance Programs, as well as the largest administrator of retirement and benefits plans. Through health and productivity, administrative, and retirement solutions, Morneau Shepell helps clients reduce costs, increase employee productivity, and improve their competitive position. Established in 1966, Morneau Shepell serves more than 8,000 clients, ranging from small businesses to some of the largest corporations and associations in North America. With approximately 3,300 employees in offices across North America, Morneau Shepell provides services to organizations across Canada, in the United States, and around the globe. Morneau Shepell is a publicly-traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: MSI). For more information, visit

Media inquiries:

Jacqueline Michelis
Bell Media Relations
1 855-785-1427

Peter Aitken
Office of Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, Queen’s University
613-533-6000 x 75015

Cathren Ronberg
Morneau Shepell