Published on October 28, 2016
Polytechnic gets high praise for its commitment to the mental health of its staff and students
NAIT has been recognized as the “best overall workplace” in the province by an Alberta-based business magazine.
Alberta’s Best Workplaces, presented by Alberta Venture, is an annual competition that recognizes employers that offer exceptional places to work. NAIT was ranked first in the Best Overall Category among other organizations that employ more than 750 people – including SAIT, the Parkland School Division and Compugen, a Calgary-based IT service provider that employs 1,500 people.
According to the magazine, NAIT stood out among other organizations for its mental health programs, particularly for its Mental Health First Aid (MHLA) program – a training program that helps staff recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health problems and helps those in distress. Just as physical first aid is given to a person before medical treatment can be provided, MHFA is given until appropriate treatment is delivered or until the crisis is resolved.
- NAIT’s workforce includes 1,200 academic and 1,600 non-academic staff.
- NAIT’s Mental Health First Aid program began in June 2014
Participants of the Mental Health First Aid program learn to:
- Recognize and understand symptoms of mental health problems.
- Get the person experiencing distress out of danger.
- Provide support and refer the individual to the proper supports.
- The Canadian Mental Health Association estimates 20% of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime.
Michael Ganley, editor, Alberta Venture
“When an organization wins a ‘best overall category’ you know it has a lot going on for it. NAIT, as an academy of higher learning, is able to offer rich and diverse professional and personal development opportunities for its staff. But what really stood out for the judges was NAIT’s commitment to the mental health of its staff and students. The institute has, among other things, been rolling out a comprehensive mental health first aid training program for employees.”
Clayton Davis, executive director of human resources, NAIT
“This award is a reflection of our entire staff who make contributions each day to ensure we have an outstanding workplace. People matter at NAIT and, because of our dedicated employees, we are able to offer an environment where our staff and students can succeed in both their everyday work and in their careers.”
Dr. Glenn Feltham, NAIT president and CEO
“At NAIT, people matter. To be recognized as Best Overall – it is a real testament to our incredible staff. This award reflects the strength of our culture and of our people. Thank you for this recognition.”
The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) is a leading Canadian polytechnic, delivering education in science, technology and the environment; business; health and trades. With more than 60,000 credit and non-credit students and a 98 per cent employer satisfaction rate, NAIT grads are essential to Alberta’s prosperity. Known for hands-on, technology-based learning, NAIT engages with business and industry in applied research and innovation and provides corporate training around the world. Recognized as one of Alberta’s top employers, NAIT provides outstanding returns on investment for its graduates, partners, the provincial government and the people of Alberta.