Dec. 11, 2008
MONCTON (CNB) - New Brunswick businesses are being encouraged to focus on workplace wellness initiatives, thanks to the Wellness at Heart Workplace Wellness Toolkit launched today at a meeting of the New Brunswick Business Council (NBBC).
The toolkit is designed to help organizations promote healthy workplace environments by assisting in the development or enhancement of a comprehensive workplace wellness program. Every day, wellness programs are proving to be successful at lowering health-care and insurance costs, decreasing absenteeism, and improving performance and productivity in workplaces. This kit will demonstrate how to best assess needs, develop a plan of action, implement, promote, and evaluate wellness programs.
"We are pleased to be a partner in the development of this toolkit to help New Brunswick businesses focus on wellness," said Wellness, Culture and Sport Minister Hédard Albert. "Our government has made wellness a major priority, and we recognize that people in our workplaces must be well to be productive. To be a self-sufficient province, we must be a well province. By adopting healthier lifestyles, employers, employees and their families take responsibility for their own wellness, and collectively take action to beat the wellness crisis."
The initiative stems from a working partnership established in 2007 between the Heart and Stroke Foundation of New Brunswick, the College of Psychologists; and the Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport.
The partners focused on healthy eating, physical activity, tobacco-free living, and psychological wellness. The collaboration resulted in the production of this guide, which ultimately sets quality standards for workplaces in New Brunswick.
"The future success of organizations in New Brunswick is dependent upon having well-qualified, motivated and healthy employees," said Dan Connolly, Heart and Stroke Foundation of New Brunswick CEO. "As a foundation we are dedicated to working with employers in this province to make changes that will have a lasting effect on the health of New Brunswickers."
"The College of Psychologists of New Brunswick is proud to be a partner in the development and promotion of the toolkit," said Christophe Surette, president of the college. "Psychological wellness is as essential to a comprehensive workplace wellness program as good physical health. Psychological wellness implies, among other benefits, the ability for a person to cope with stress, be motivated, adapt to changes, deal with setbacks and embrace challenges. The benefits are enormous for both the employee and the employer."
The NBBC has identified wellness as one of four key building blocks to self-sufficiency.
"We are here today to endorse this toolkit and the partnership that is taking workplace wellness in this province to a new level," said Denis Losier, NBBC chair. "The council will be using the toolkit in its program to promote healthier and more productive workplaces, and has developed, through J.D. Irving Ltd., an implementation guide to help New Brunswick businesses of all sizes introduce and improve workplace wellness programs."
More information about the toolkit and how to obtain copies may be found at www.heartandstroke.ca/nb, or by calling 1-800-663-3600.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Danielle McFarlane, director of communications, Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport, 506-457-6445; Darcy LeBlanc, communications manager, Heart and Stroke Foundation of New Brunswick, 506-634-2054, email@example.com; Laurent Paulin, executive director, College of Psychologists of New Brunswick, 506-382-1994, firstname.lastname@example.org.