Unifor is participating in the Bell program ‘Let’s Talk’ geared towards fostering a national conversation on mental health. As part of the program, Bell will donate five cents for every text message sent and mobile or long distance call made (for Bell customers only), every tweet using #BellLetsTalk and every Facebook share of the Bell Let’s Talk image on January 28.
According to recent statistics, upwards of 500,000 Canadian workers miss work each day due to mental illness. As many as one in five Canadians will experience a form of mental illness during their lifetime. Those not directly affected will have loved ones dealing with mental health issues.
“The biggest challenge is controlling and eliminating the psycho-social hazards in the workplace that cause mental health conditions,” said Sari Sairanen, Unifor’s Health, Safety and Environment Director. Sairanen said that a much greater awareness of mental health issues is needed to break down barriers for those suffering. Sairanen was a member of the technical committee that drafted the Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace Standard, now celebrating its one year anniversary. The standard is best practices for dealing with mental illness in the workplace – a road map for how to proceed for the best possible outcome.
The labour movement has also developed an online tool – the Mental Injury Tool Kit – with Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) and a number of researchers.
Unifor has also created a share graphic of our own.