For immediate release
October 29, 2021
Chamber policy Addressing Workplace Mental Health receives national acclaim

TRURO – The Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce’s lobby for more action by the federal government to address entrepreneur and workforce mental health recently received endorsement by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

The local Chamber worked with health care professionals, consultants and mental health stakeholders to put forward a policy, Addressing Workplace Mental Health, at the national Chamber AGM and policy debates, held in a virtual forum, on October 28. The policy’s three key recommendations received 95 per cent of the national vote and will now be submitted to the Liberal government for action.

“This policy speaks to the dire need to support the mental health of our entrepreneurs and their employees,” said Sherry Martell, Chamber Executive Director. “As the voice of business, we are speaking up for the half of our population that is now struggling with mental health related issues, which are deeply impacting our workforce, and for our hard-working, dedicated entrepreneurs that are statistically more likely to experience mental illness and five times more likely to contemplate suicide.”
Martell said COVID-19 has gravely impacted the mental health of Canadians showing an increase from an estimated one in five people experiencing mental health issues to now one in every two people. However, she said, it is a challenge to actively gage the mental health impact of the pandemic without a focused effort on pan-Canadian data collection.
She added that pre-pandemic data on the mental health of Canadians as a whole and those actively participating in the workforce is dated, fragmented and inconsistent province to province and territories.
The policy, was also supported by the Canadian Chamber’s National Workforce Policy Committee, the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce and four Nova Scotia Chambers.
The first key recommendation asks the federal government to work with provinces and territories, municipalities, First Nations, business, labour, academia, health care leaders and individual citizens to update a national strategy on mental health, including best practices of current programs in an effort to improve the management of mental health in the workplace. This would include collection of pan-Canadian and international statistics to compare benchmarks, proven examples of prevention, early action to combat stress and early identification of problems focused on increasing worker productivity, along with support for entrepreneurs and employees while highlighting the impact of mental illness on the economy.
It also outlines the need to ensure funding committed to health in federal budgets continues to provide dedicated amounts for provincial/territorial plans to address mental health challenges within their health care systems.

Thirdly, it asks for a review of government benefits and compensation programs for individuals with mental health issues to ensure they are relevant to today’s needs and do not disproportionately place the cost burden on employers.

The policy was one of 69 submitted for debate by the Canadian Chamber network. The Truro & Colchester Chamber is one of more than 450 chambers in the national network actively advocating on issues impacting the business community. For more information about the local chamber, visit

Click here to view the policy



Media contact:
Sherry Martell
Executive Director
Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce
[email protected]