Chris Poot, Manager, Return to Work Program Services, WCB: If you’re just trying to teach employers that, not unlike physical injuries, to come prepared and try and figure out with the individual what their coping strategy is going to be. So, if you have a person with a physical injury, and they need a break every hour or something like that, to rest or to walk or whatever, what’s the corresponding kind of allowance that you need to make for an individual with a mental health issue to be able to get through their day? Just trying to figure out what that coping strategy is. It’s not really complex. For most employers, that’s sufficient.
Chris Poot, Manager, Return to Work Program Services, WCB: There are a number of simple things that people can do and they should ask, “What do I just I start with? Maybe I can’t get involved in all that stuff now but how do I just start that?” And our courses teach that. People come out of those classes going, “Wow, I can actually use this today.” And so, I’m encouraging every employer, even if you don’t have a lot of claims, to take this course because, finally when you do have one, at least you understand what to do and how to do it, and everyone wins in that circumstance.
(Chris Poot, Manager, Return to Work Program Services, WCB): There’s a myth and it’s – I think it’s slowly disappearing - that return to work is somehow punitive, and it’s not. It’s not a loss of entitlement or anything. We know that people recover faster when they go back to work and there are so many positive benefits to an injured worker that at times, I don’t understand how that still exists, but it does. Starting with the beginning, we have training for employers—formal training, that they get a certificate of completion on WCB basics, that’s understanding how the whole process works. And then secondly with a more specialized course on return to work, developing your own program. But we also do consulting services for some of the larger, more complex companies where we teach them and look at everything that they do on how to develop a really good and effective return to work program. We don’t charge anybody anything for this. This is a win for the board as well, so, the WCB’s perspective is that employers are getting better at this—this is exactly what our goal is. We’re prepared to invest the time, and energy, and the resources to do that, no charge to employers.