The University of Toronto celebrates Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month (CHWM) each October. This month reminds all of us who work at U of T that being healthy in our various roles has many dimensions: feeling supported in our physical and mental health, knowing we are respected and affirmed for who we are, and recognizing our part in efforts to work sustainably and in partnership with the communities that surround our three campuses. For this reason, Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month presents an excellent opportunity to learn strategies to improve your health at work, taking small actions that can have a big impact on your daily experience of U of T.
Maintaining a healthy workplace is a responsibility shared by employer and employee. The University’s Disconnecting from Work Policy (2022) aims to assist leaders and employees in managing workplace stresses due to workload, overwork, and an inability to disconnect from the workplace outside of an employee’s working hours. During work hours, employees can use a variety of strategies to manage stress, from being physically active to practising mindfulness techniques during breaks. U of T’s 2023 programming for Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month—including the Healthy Workplace Challenge and a full calendar of virtual sessions—can jumpstart or enhance your efforts to be healthier at work. TELUS Health (formerly LifeWorks), the University’s Employee & Family Assistance Provider, is an ongoing resource for work-life services, counselling, and long-term counselling referrals.
Similarly, the University’s commitment to health and safety includes supporting a workplace that is free from incivility, harassment, and discrimination. Everyone who works at U of T has the ability to make our workplaces healthier by being compassionate, respectful, and kind in our interactions. We can also enhance our understanding of ourselves, our colleagues, and our community through ongoing training offered by tri-campus equity offices, the Office of Indigenous of Initiatives, the Centre for Learning, Leadership, and Culture, and many others across our campuses.
The month of October—one of the busiest times of our academic year—is in fact the best time to consider what factors make our workplace healthy. The healthy habits you form now will help you manage stress throughout the year. The actions we collectively take to promote respect and understanding in our teams will, in turn, support the growth of an institutional culture that celebrates all our successes and supports everyone’s growth.
Explore the wide range of events all month. In addition to Mindfulness Drop-in Sessions, you can attend such sessions as “Practical Productivity,” “Silencing Your inner Critic,” “Setting Limits at Work and in Your Personal Life,” and “The Path to Inner Peace.”
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