The Working Mind Program for Long Term Care

The Canadian Association for Long Term Care is the national voice of long-term care, delivering resident-centred care services to seniors across Canada when they can no longer live at home. Since its inception in 2002, CALTC has been working together to share information, best practices, and evidence to improve the quality of care provided to residents in long-term care, no matter where they live. 

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The Working Mind (TWM) is an evidence-based training that aims to help people in their places of work, reduce stigma towards mental health. The course provides participants with tools to identify mental health changes in themselves and equip them with tools to start trauma informed conversations about mental health.

Stigma is a major barrier preventing people from seeking help for mental health problems or mental illness. The fear of stigma often delays diagnosis and treatment. If identified and treated early, mental health concerns can be temporary and reversible. Employees who understand normal reactions to stress and how to manage these reactions are more resilient. They have the ability to recover from stress, traumatic events, and adverse situations. It is possible to train people to recognize changes in their own mental health and become more resilient.

TWM program aims to help individuals maintain their wellness while also supporting others living with a mental health problem or illness in a psychologically healthy and safe work setting. This program will assist employers who are interested to adopt the Psychological Health and Safety Standard in the workplace. 

Three Core Modules offer the same foundational content to both employee and manager participants. They focus on increasing self-awareness and taking care of your own mental health.

  • Module 1: Mental Health and Stigma will introduce participants to the concepts of mental health and stigma, and it will discuss impacts of stigma on individuals living with mental health problems.

  • Module 2: Mental Health in the Workplace will help recognize and keep track of changes in your mental health and well-being and know when to take appropriate actions and have conversations about mental health with colleagues and friends.

  • Module 3: Stress & Resilience will discuss the impacts of stress on mental health and provide an opportunity for participants to practice the Big 4 coping strategies – proven tools to help deal with stress effectively and remain resilient.

  • The Manager Module offers leadership-specific content and focuses on helping leaders support their teams’ mental health.

  • Module 4: Supporting Your Team will build on the three core modules and introduce managers with practical tools to support individual employees, and to support their team’s mental health.


The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) is in the process of customizing TWM to best align with the lived experience of staff in long-term care homes. MHCC have customized various programs for front-line staff in the past, including fire chiefs in Ontario. The LTC customization will also include videos with a long-term care staff who has recovered from mental health problem(s) and is willing to share their experiences. 

TWM customization will launch a pilot program in October to test content, information, etc. so the customized course is ready for trainer facilitation in late 2022, early 2023. 

The program will recruit leadership staff to join a ‘train the trainer’ 5-day facilitation program for late 2022, early 2023.  This will then enable the trainer to facilitate the customized TWM to staff at long-term care homes within the year that they have been trained. 

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is part of the federal health portfolio. Its activities focus on preventing disease and injuries, responding to public health threats, promoting good physical and mental health, and providing information to support informed decision making.

PHAC requested submissions for funding to address post-traumatic stress disorder and trauma in those most affected by COVID-19. CALTC was granted funding to support mental health education that builds mental health resiliency through knowledge and empowerment.

Funding Acknowledgement

Addressing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and trauma by those most affected by COVID-19 is supported by a financial contribution from the Public Health Agency of Canada. The views expresses herein do not necessarily represent the views of the Public Health Agency of Canada.

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