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Read real stories about employee mental health and how using Starling Minds makes an impact.

Administrative Leaders Use Starling to Manage Stress & Prevent Absenteeism

Starling Minds Case Study — Catholic Principals’ Council | Ontario

  • About CPCO

    Founded in 1998, Catholic Principals’ Council | Ontario represents 2,100 Catholic Principals and Vice-Principals across the province of Ontario. The Association works to advance the cause of Catholic education, to maintain and improve terms and conditions of employment, and to provide Associates with leadership support and development. With mounting workload intensification for school leaders, stress management and mental health support have become a key focus for CPCO.

  • The Challenge
  • The Solution
  • The Impact

Increasing Absenteeism Due to High Stress

With increasing workload and responsibilities, the work part of work-life integration is taking up more and more time. As a result, Catholic school leaders have stress-levels so high that mental and physical health is being impacted. Knowing this, CPCO’s Executive Director began to actively look for preventative solutions to help their leaders build up resilience to pressures both at work and at home.

Starling Minds for Mental Health & Stress Management

In the fall of 2015 Starling Minds rolled out for Principals, Vice-Principals, and their families across Ontario.

After learning more about Starling, it became clear to Geiser and his team that the program had the potential to positively impact the mental health and well-being of all CPCO Associates.

He shares, “the program deeply spoke to our group, especially the characters and stories used to communicate mental health concepts.” He adds, “Specifically, the storyline of ‘Virginia’ resonated with our female Vice-Principals and Principals as they too face the pressures of taking care of their families and their schools. So many of the mental health case studies in Starling personalize the experience for them.”

Starling also proved to be an effective solution for Catholic school leaders on stress or mental health leave. Some are off for long periods of time and need something to focus on daily to help them feel empowered. Geiser shares, “When we implemented Starling we didn’t think it would be widely used by some of our high-risk cases but we’ve learned these people actually report the greatest benefit from the program.”

Improved Work & Personal Lives

Executive Director Joe Geiser proudly states, “In our most recent data review, we learned that 12% of our associates are engaged in the program which is over double the industry standard for other Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs).” He continues, “Our understanding is that EAPs generally have anywhere from 3-6% usage rates so we’re very pleased with the uptake of Starling.”

Furthermore, regular data reports show that Starling makes the following impact:


  • 78% of CPCO Associates improve in sadness, anxiety and worry scores
  • 20% move up the mental health continuum to the healthy category

  • Mental fitness challenges improve member anxiety scores by 18%

  • Workplace absenteeism improves by 12%

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