At this year’s Bottom Line Conference, CMHA honoured Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. for their exemplary processes, tools and programs that foster positive mental health for employees. This top award is provided annually to an outstanding organization that has advanced mental health through their work/volunteer activities in the areas of reducing stigma and discrimination, addressing social justice and the social determinants of health, and maintaining or improving mental health for all.
Hibernia is committed to a workplace where Nobody Gets Hurt, which includes physical injuries and psychological injuries.
The Hibernia Platform is a unique Canadian workplace. Located 315 km offshore St. John’s NL, the oil production platform is both workplace and home to 270 people, who rotate 21 days offshore, 21 days onshore.
The WOW factor for the nominating committee was their award-winning Hibernia Workforce Mental Health Awareness Program. This program was developed in 2015 by the worker-led Platform Wellness Committee on the premise of ‘Actively Caring’ in our workplace and is strongly supported by their leadership and union. It has three main components: 1) Mental Health Commission of Canada Mental Health FA Training 2) Mental Health Awareness ‘Moments for Team Safety’ Meetings 3) Actively Caring in our Community.
Mental Health First Aid Training: Courses are available at no charge to workers and are offered ‘by workers to workers’. The trained instructors who are respected leaders from the Hibernia workforce itself have customized the course to focus group discussions on key issues facing offshore workforce such as caring for your family from a distance. The diversity of the participants encourages high quality discussion, story-telling and sharing. The courses also often invite guest speakers who suffer from mental health issues to come and share their stories, embracing their ‘voice’.
Mental Health Awareness Moments: This on-line library includes 16 presentations for use at all offshore safety meetings. Presentations are informative, brief and leverage videos to encourage discussion. A new topic is chosen every 42 days and is chosen strategically, based on worker and leadership feedback. Content and speaker notes are developed by the Safety & Occupational Health teams onshore, and the presentations at safety meetings offshore are led by workers. 1) Depression 2) Anxiety 3) Caring for Your Family from a Distance 4) Substance Abuse & Talking to Teenagers are just some of the topics in the library.
Actively Caring in our Community: Hibernia partnered with a community group called the Gathering Place in 2015. The Gathering Place is for adults who are homeless or live in less than desirable housing conditions, who are often unemployed and do not have adequate social supports. Many people at The Gathering Place have complex physical and mental health issues.
Hibernia workers support the Gathering Place by volunteering as groups on a regular basis on different initiatives. For example, Hibernia volunteers prepare and serve food, do maintenance work and spend time with guests.
We’ve been told that at Hibernia they are talking and sharing more, and listening to each other. Their program is working.
Photo: Sarika Gundu, CMHA (centre) presents the award to Jason Thorn and Steve Tizzard, Hibernia (left to right)