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Mental Health Care at New Brunswick Power Corporation

Mental Health Care at New Brunswick Power Corporation

Alexander Liam

New Brunswick Power Corporation resides in Fredericton, the capital city of the only Canadian province with both French and English as its official languages, New Brunswick. It is also known by its native name Société d’énergie du Nouveau-Brunswick, and its business names used for operations not under the registered company name, NB Power and Énergie NB. It is a part of the Canadian power industry and deals with electrical power generation, electro transmission and electricity distribution.

This Canadian Crown Corporation is a vertically-integrated enterprise. It fully belongs to the Government of New Brunswick and supplies power to all the province’s industrial, manufacturing and residential facilities. But the same objects in Perth-Andover, Saint John and Edmundston are not served by NB Power because they are powered by Saint John Energy. The corporate family of NB Power includes five hundred and eighty-four companies and generates more than $ 1,5 billion (USD) in total revenue.

The power sector is now forced to process a lot of metamorphoses because of global climate change fuelled by highly increased customer consumption. It leads to a growth of uncertainty about the future on a global scale, increased employee needs and rapid revolutionary changes. The quantity of filed applications about short-dated disability over the matter of mental health-related conditions has highly increased in the last few decades. Employee and Family Assistance Programs (EFAP) became more sought-after and demonstrated that all the above-mentioned changes erode the workforce.

Why a Mental Health Initiative?

Nowadays, a great many enterprises in all industries all over the world have to grapple with a large rise in challenges related to mental illnesses, psychic health and sanity.

In agreement with the business plan of Société d’énergie du Nouveau-Brunswick, increasing mental well-being is among the major strategic initiatives for the period of 2021/2022. The company is ready to accomplish that aim by raising employee resilience and bringing into being special wellness programs and training activities to help employees improve their coping skills.

Considering meaningful changes that take place in the power and energy sector, it was necessary for NB Power to support employees and make arrangements for safety and mental health in the workplace.

But changes in the industry are not the only reason for NB Power to take care of people’s mental health. Corporation also plays a great role in New Brunswick gambling. So how can a power giant be connected with games?

New Brunswick has two old-school-landed casinos, Casino New Brunswick, which is in the city of Moncton and Gray Rock Casino in Edmundston (Madawaska Maliseet First Nation). Both of them are powered by Société d’énergie du Nouveau-Brunswick. That is how NB Power is related to offline gambling.

Online gaming also needs electricity. All data centers, provider offices and devices for gaming, from smartphones, tablets, laptops, and PCs to home video game consoles, all over the province, also get electricity from NB Power. That is how Société d’énergie du Nouveau-Brunswick is related to online casino gambling.

Alas, gambling is sometimes related to some addictions and mental health problems. As the company which powers the whole industry, NB Power cares about the mental health of gamblers in order to prevent excessive gambling, compulsive gambling and gaming addiction.

How NB Power’s Mental Health Initiative Works

NB Power supports employees and makes measures to ensure safety and a sane mind in the workplace, following the National Standard of Canada Psychological Health and Safety. Eventually, after analyzing a great number of options, the corporation management chose the Total Health framework by Morneau Shepell. That model consists of five steps and is based on Plan – Do – Check – Act (PDCA) cycles that facilitate and support PHSMS (Psychological Health and Safety Management System).

The Total Health framework is aligned with the advanced technology of supporting employees’ general physical and mental state and functions towards proactive health management, continual improvement and steady progression. It consists of five steps: specifying the major points; inspection and research; strategizing; process implementation; estimation and gauging.

In the first instance, the management of the corporation defines major problems it would like to solve, aiming to strengthen the health of the corporation workers and consequently increase labour productivity. Then comes an investigation of the NB Power’s strengths, facilities, capabilities and threats to psychological health, calculated through the total health index assessment and monitoring of the workers’ compensation board data, programming costs, also disability and attendance data. NB Power corporate governance gets an aggregated report, while each employee gets its own stats on an ongoing basis. The next step is strategizing. Quantitative and qualitative data help to manage a total health strategy. Potentially it can improve the worker’s capabilities to resile and thrive. It is anticipated that proper strategy contributes to better sane mind and physical health, workflow experience, mental safety, psychological health and lifeway – represented by work-life balance, healthy relationships and financial soundness.

The real action of the Total Health framework begins on its fourth step with the incorporation of different programs which potentially can enable behaviour modification to improve sustainability, total health management, and both ongoing and continuous improvement. One of such programs was garnering the full support of the corporation’s executives and NB Power Union leadership. The other one was an implementation of working and consultative committees. Another initiative is focused on the preparation of a guide and the improvement of communications increasing to inform employees about different efficient national initiatives like The Employee and Family Assistance Program. One more program called A Conversation for Leaders is specially developed for training leaders of different levels, from executives to the corporation’s front line on mental health issues. The fourth step of the Total Health framework facilitated the foundation of a special organization that cares about both the Health and Safety of employees and manages such processes as hiring a Total Health Specialist and a Health Nurse. Next thing on the NB Power’s agenda is an anti-stigma campaign called Not Myself Today, which is also a part of the conversation around mental health. Also, in the realm of the Total Health framework, a workout space was established in the head office. The assessment of all other facilities for the establishing sports spaces, gamimg rooms (like Midas Golden Touch) is in the process now. The promotion program of an annual Total Health Index survey is already launched among all employees.

The last fifth step of the Total Health framework is about measurement and evaluation of the program’s results and appraisement of its efficient impact.

Conclusion

Now, due to all the above-mentioned initiatives and programs, the financial strategy of NB Power will be calculated with consideration of the total health strategy. Following the strategy of a progressive modern corporation and caring about mental health is good for Société d’énergie du Nouveau-Brunswick and will bring a lot of profit in future. But, what is even more important, it impacts positively on its employees.

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