Mental health a priority for Employer of Distinction award winner Newfoundland Power

Newfoundland Power is being recognized as a company that takes care of its employees with programs such as The Working Mind that focus on keeping workers healthy.

Annaconda Mining and Stella's Circle also pick up awards from employers' group

Newfoundland Power workers are called out to make repairs in weather that keeps most people indoors. (Mark Quinn/CBC)

Newfoundland Power is being recognized as a company that takes care of its employees with programs such as The Working Mind that focus on keeping workers healthy.

The company was awarded a 2017 Employer of Distinction Award Monday by the provincial Employers' Council.

"It recognizes us as an employer who is committed to our employees, committed to the community, to volunteerism, there's a safety component so we are really excited and honoured about this," said Elizabeth Whitten, Newfoundland Power's manager of human resources.

"Mental health is a newer area for us. Sometimes people feel uncomfortable talking about this. We really want to reduce that discomfort. We really want people to feel comfortable and to really support their coworkers," Whitten said.
Elizabeth Whitten is the Manager of Human Resources with Newfoundland Power. (Mark Quinn/ CBC)

The company partnered with the Department of Health and Community Services to deliver training in The Working Mind as part of its Understanding Changes Everything workplace program.

Whitten says the goal of the program is to ensure a workplace climate that is respectful and inclusive to all employees, including those living with mental health issues. Newfoundland Power has trained two in-house facilitators to deliver training to employees.

Employer of Distinction Award

The award recognizes successful employers in Newfoundland and Labrador who demonstrate leadership in the community, corporate responsibility, productivity and innovation, and a fundamental belief in the value of a healthy, safe, and motivated workforce.

"These companies are doing tremendous things to support the economy and support their employees and give back to the community. This is our opportunity to celebrate that and say that's important," said Richard Alexander, executive director of the Employers' Council
Richard Alexander is the executive director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Employers' Council. (Mark Quinn/ CBC)

Last year's winners were Petroforma Laboratories and College of the North Atlantic.

Other employers singled out this year were Annaconda Mining and Stella's Circle.

Also making the shortlist were Commissionaires Newfoundland and Labrador, Gander International Airport Authority, Fonemed, Vigilant Management, Shoreline Aggregate, Noseworthy Chapman Charted Professional Accountants and Anthony Insurance.