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Mental Health a priority for Canada's largest private sector union

Unifor, with over 315,000 members in every major sector of the economy, has been a very active advocate for mental health.

As members, each one of us has been touched in some way by mental health either directly, or through a family member, friend or a colleague. Current statistics indicate that 1 in 5 Canadians will, in their lifetime experience a mental health problem or illness. This major social concern spares no one.  

As Canadians and Unionists, we have come a very long way in advocating for those in need, yet the  stigma is very much real, alive and well in the mind of the sufferer, even in 2019. Sadly, there is still the sense that by speaking up, we will be being judged by those around us. This alone is one of the greatest barriers to live a complete and satisfying life.

As members of Unifor, we have always advocated strongly for the need to openly speak up and to listen up on mental health in our workplaces but we also recognize that there is much work to be done. Clearly we are, as always, up for this challenge. At Unifor, we continually strive to place mental health at the forefront by utilizing all social media outlets including the national website.

Here are some quick facts that may astound you.

  • Approximately 8% of adults will experience major depression at some time in their lives.
  • About 1% of Canadians will experience bipolar disorder.
  • By age 40, about 50% of the population will have or have had a mental illness.
  • Schizophrenia affects 1% of the Canadian population.
  • Anxiety disorders affect 5% of the household population, causing mild to severe impairment.
  • Suicide accounts for 24% of all deaths among 15-24 year olds and 16% among 25-44 year olds.
  • Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in both men and women from adolescence to middle age.
  • The mortality rate due to suicide among men is four times the rate among women.

What you can do to help: Become a Unifor Mental Health Advocate

Visit the Unifor National website at:

Enroll and participate to help others. Take the course.

Start your own personal and local union campaign of advocacy by incorporating Mental health on all your Social media pages and website.


Start your own local union initiatives.

Speak up, Listen up every day for Mental health.

At Unifor, together, we can make the difference!

- Brian Lowery, L1996-O ORC HSE Standing Committee