Fredericton, NB (May 11, 2021) – The County of Lennox & Addington, ON has received national recognition for its “It’s OK to not be OK” Corporate Peer Support Program from the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA). The Municipality was presented with the 2021 CAMA Willis Award for Innovation in the 20,001-100,000 population category during a Virtual Awards of Excellence Ceremony held today.
“CAMA is pleased to recognize the County of Lennox & Addington for their peer support program for employees of all service areas,” said Jake Rudolph, outgoing president of CAMA and Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Nanaimo, BC. “Having a resource for employees to turn to after experiencing a difficult situation at work can make a big difference to their mental health.”
In late 2019, the County began working with the existing paramedic peer support program team members, as well as the County’s four Health & Safety Committees to develop a corporate peer support team. The Peer Support Team (PST) provides confidential peer-based debriefings (individually or as a group) to any employees who experience work-related trauma or incidents, as well as during times of other stressful work or personal events.
Team members were nominated by their peers, went through a selection process, and were provided training. There is a diverse group of 16 PST members from every County department.
In early 2020, when many services were being scaled back because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the PST realized the importance of providing this service to their co-workers and doubled-down on their efforts, launching the program months earlier than anticipated.
The PST assists in fostering a culture of inclusion and helps staff feel more empowered and hopeful. The program promotes a productive and engaged workforce, supports employees, and reduces costs related to absenteeism and turnover.
“There were 35 submissions from across the country entered into this year’s CAMA Awards of Excellence program,” said Marc Melanson, Chair for the 2021 CAMA Awards Jury, CAMA representative for New Brunswick and City Manager for the City of Dieppe, NB. “The scope of projects, from municipalities both large and small, was impressive and I extend my congratulations to the winners, as well as those who took the time to enter a submission.”
To find out more about the County of Lennox & Addingtons’s award, as well as the other 2021 CAMA Awards of Excellence winners, visit www.camacam.ca/awards and look for the award recipients link.