Wetaskiwin chamber luncheon focuses on mental health in the workplace

Robert Manolson of Powerful Play Experiences has 12 years experience making workplaces fun

That old 9 to 5 grind could be a thing of the past for Wetaskiwin-area employees out there if a Wetaskiwin Chamber of Commerce guest speaker has his way.

At the upcoming regular luncheon meeting of the chamber, which has the theme “Mentally Healthy Workplaces,” the guest speaker will be Robert Manolson of Powerful Play Experiences. Manolson speaks out against the traditional office drudgery that’s apparently common across North America and argues fun at work makes better, more productive employees and businesses.

Manolson, BA, CCDP, is a certified career development professional team engagement expert who spreads the message that happy, engaged, valued and positive managers and employees are more effective.

“We live in interesting times,” stated Manolson’s press release.

“Powerful Play Experiences believes that now, more than ever, it’s the right time to build a workplace culture around the importance of positive workplace mental health for teams and to execute this initiative through the business benefits of team development and fun at work. ”

One of Manolson’s workshops, titled “Team Mental Health Break,” fits the chamber’s goals to a T.

“When was the last time you did something for the first time?,’ noted Manolson’s website. “Get ready to mentally re-charge in this workshop experience that totally generates a buzz of excitement and positive energy. Personal cheers, smiles, laughter and fun are abundant. We’ll play active and not-so-active cooperative games, in small groups and large groups. We’ll change roles, change leaders, pretend, take risks, try something new, trust and be trusted. Experience playing together while giving everyone permission for a ‘Team Mental Health Break.’”

Wetaskiwin Chamber of Commerce spokesperson Jessica Roth said in a phone interview Sept. 26 the Canadian Chambers of Commerce have named mental health a priority; the CCC would like to see the national standard adopted (The National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace). Recent changes to the OHS laws also make employee mental health a priority.

Roth said Manolson will discuss his training and experiences and point out that this is an important issue that the business community should be discussing. Roth noted every year, 1 in 5 Canadians will suffer from a mental health problem or illness. “With more than 500,000 Canadians missing work each week due to a mental health problem or illness, plus costing the economy more than $51 billion per year, no workplace is immune from these risks,” stated Roth.

Manolson noted on his press release that the City of Wetaskiwin has embraced his approach in the past. The city offers an employee team-building day based on Powerful Play Experiences.

The luncheon will be Fri., Oct. 12 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Best Western Wayside Inn on Hwy. #2A and the chamber welcomes both members ($30 each) and non-members ($40). Register online at http://www.wetaskiwinchamber.com/events/details/2018-october-luncheon-mentally-healthy-workplaces-1313, or call 780-312-0657.

Stu.salkeld@pipestoneflyer.ca

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