The Bermuda Mental Health Foundation is a registered charity that provides communal housing for persons with mental illness whilst also advocating on their behalf. Established in 1994, the core function of the Foundation is to provide housing for persons who have a mental illness but are capable of living independently in communal homes. The homes are owned by the Foundation, but the occupants are placed and overseen in the properties by the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute.
Past and current board directors have worked together to raise funds that enabled the Foundation to acquire three properties which currently accommodate 20 persons afflicted with mental illness who are living in permanent, shared premises in residential settings. The residents live independently but receive look-in support from assigned members of MWI’s Community Health Service team. The Foundation’s view is that mental illness is a human condition that can affect up to 25 percent of a country’s population. It is an illness that affects the chemistry of the brain, but in very many instances, the illness is manageable through treatment. In that regard, mental illness is on the same platform as other human illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other chronic health disorders. With treatment, many mentally ill persons are able to live a regular life including holding employment, raising a family, participating in their community and having friends.
In its public awareness efforts, the Foundation hosts public speaking events, conducts school tours to talk with young people about mental illness, and partners with MWI in the annual Mental Health Awareness Week in October. The Foundation also provided active support for the amendment to the Human Rights Act 1981 that extended protection under the Act to persons with mental illness. Recently, the Foundation launched the Mindful Employer Certificate (MEC) Programme. The MEC programme came about due to a desire to encourage Bermuda’s employers to adopt mental wellness policies and standards in the workplace.
The Mindful Employer Certification (MEC) Programme is an initiative that seeks to challenge, highlight and cultivate company cultures that put mental health as a workplace priority. The Mindful Employer Certification ensures that employers are in compliance with existing legislation while challenging them to develop, implement or enhance sound policies and practices around mental health.
The MEC Programme aims to:
- Increase mental health awareness
- Eliminate stigma around workplace mental health
- Develop and support mindful workforces through training
- Provide resources for employees who may require mental health support
The MEC Programme begins with a baseline assessment of a company’s existing policies and practices and measures them against a set of key standards aimed at fostering a mentally healthy workplace. By providing a grading system, certificates, and badges, the Mindful Employer Certification provides the organisation with a tangible way of making a strong statement about its commitment to the mental wellness of its staff.
The Mindful Employer Certification can help your organization to:
- Foster a healthy, diverse and inclusive work environment
- Strengthen your retention and engagement efforts
- Reinforce your company’s brand by linking to a cause that resonates with many employees
The Benefits of this Certification for Employers
- Certificate from the Bermuda Mental Health Foundation recognising your designation at gold, silver or bronze level
- Listed on the BMHF website and social media as a Mindful Employer
- A formal badge to include in digital and print communications indicating your designation level
- Acknowledgment at formal BMHF and Bermuda HR Association events
- Discount on all training delivered by the BMHF