Kelsi Baine (left), executive director and professional counsellor with Upper Island Counselling, is joined by Camille Lagueux, executive director of Campbell River Family Services, which is an Employee and Family Assistance Program client of UIC.

Mental wellness matters: Healthy employees make for healthy companies

Campbell River counselling group helps companies keep employees and families mentally healthy

Having someone to talk to when you’re stressed, anxious or facing other life challenges is important.

Even people who counsel others on such deeply personal matters need help at times. Crisis and family counsellors listen and help us get through tough times, but they, too, experience anxiety or need to deal with trauma, says Camille Lagueux, executive director of Campbell River Family Services.

“We’re like anybody else, we have stressors, whether it’s family or other personal matters. We need a place to talk and have a listening ear,” she says. Working with people in crisis, from women facing high-risk pregnancies, to families and children working through trauma, “takes a toll on our staff,” Lagueux says.

When this non-profit agency decided to pursue health and wellness services for their staff, they turned to Upper Island Counselling.

Having an outlet can make a difference

Kelsi Baine, executive director and part of the professional team at UIC, agrees that helping people in crisis is stressful. Learning personal coping skills can be the best way to navigate those feelings, she adds. “It’s important they get the support they need to look after themselves, to avoid problems like compassionate fatigue and other occupational stress symptoms.”

Having professional counsellors to talk to outside of the work environment is a crucial aspect of the Employee and Family Assistance Program set up for Campbell River Family Services by UIC, Lagueux says. “Our staff try to maintain professional and personal boundaries, but it’s good to know that if their work does affect them, they have someone to talk to about things.”

Your employees are an important asset

UIC works with companies of all sizes to help employees maintain good mental health. Whether you’re running a small business, a non-profit agency or a corporation with hundreds of employees, providing staff with local counselling services is a valuable investment, Baine says.

“Your employees are your greatest asset and healthy employees make for healthy companies,” she says. “Our society has so many stressors associated with parenting, grief and loss, marital or financial issues. There are so many things that can overload people’s resources and coping abilities. That’s why quality professional counselling is becoming a more necessary and valuable resource for companies and individuals.”

Find out how affordable health and wellness services can be

UIC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program is available for a modest fee per employee, with spouse and dependent children also covered for professional counselling services. On-site health and wellness presentations and workshops are also available, and critical incident debriefing. “We want counselling to be accessible and our model is one of the best ways to broaden accessibility throughout our community,” Baine says.

Learn more about employee wellness programs at uics.ca or call 250-287-2266. You can also follow UIC on Facebook.

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