The Douglas is the first mental health institution to receive this certification


The Douglas Mental Health University Institute has become the first mental health institution in the province to be granted Healthy Enterprise certification by the Bureau de normalisation du Québec (BNQ). This certification attests to the Douglas Institute's commitment towards the overall health of its employees.

The Healthy Enterprise standard helps organizations maintain and sustain improvement in individuals' health. It also describes the interventions and measures that can be implemented in workplaces to encourage employees to adopt a healthy lifestyle. This standard prompts organizations to take action in four different areas that are recognized for having a significant impact on employee health and productivity: lifestyle, work-life balance, work environment and management practices.

A well-structured program

The Douglas Institute achieved Healthy Enterprise certification above all thanks to its health and wellness program. Launched officially in May 2011, the Healthy Douglas program focuses on prevention, awareness and support for employees. It promotes a healthy lifestyle in different areas, such as nutrition, physical activity, work-life balance, and good management practices. The Healthy Douglas program also encourages employees to take care of themselves and helps them reach their wellness goals, whatever they may be.

“This initiative has really increased staff motivation,” stated Caroline Dubé, Director of Human Resources at the Douglas. “We want to provide a stimulating work environment that is also respectful, safe and conducive to a healthy lifestyle. Given current labour shortages, Healthy Enterprise certification is a powerful recruitment and retention tool. In concrete terms, since the Healthy Douglas program was implemented, our turnover rate has decreased by 1.4% and the frequency of work-related accidents has dropped by over 2%. Our disability insurance rates are approximately 2% lower than those for the health care network on the Island of Montreal, which translates into savings of over $150,000 per year.”

“We are very proud to be the first mental health institution to receive this certification, as it is perfectly in line with our values of excellence and innovation,” stressed Lynne McVey, Executive Director of the Douglas Institute. “Our health and wellness program is tangible proof that we are doing everything we can to make our work and living environment as healthy as possible. The program also represents a major asset for the Douglas and we take pride in the dedication of our teams to improve the mental health and quality of life of a vulnerable population.”

A social commitment

“I am very pleased to see how committed the Douglas Institute management is to the Healthy Douglas program and to making it a part of its strategic plan,” stated David Eidelman, MDCM, Dean of Medicine at McGill University and President of the Réseau universitaire de santé intégré (RUIS) McGill. “Caring about the health and wellness of employees shows a strong social commitment, and this is a core value we strive to instill in the McGill students and trainees in our Faculty, at the Douglas Institute and across all RUIS McGill teaching sites.”

In Quebec, health care costs have risen 70% in 10 years and now represent close to 40% of the province's total budget. Recent studies reviewed by the Groupe Entreprises en santé show that only 2.2% of this amount is dedicated to prevention. However, all stakeholders in this sector recognize that lifestyle improvements can lead to major advances in public health. In fact, there is a return on investment of $5 for every dollar invested in a workplace health and wellness program within two to four years of its implementation.


Anne Quirion
Communications and Public Affairs, Douglas Institute
Office: 514-761-6131, extension 2717
Cell: 514-434-9990