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Mental health support needed in the workplace

January 30, 2018

TORONTO – Unifor believes that good mental health practices must be built into all workplaces in order to increase understanding and assistance for people experiencing mental illness.

“Prevention and support for people facing mental health crises is a daily challenge that we must all play a part in solving,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “A positive work environment, with access to help where people need it, helps answer this call.”

Mental illness remains the leading cause of workplace disability claims and the support provided in the workplace plays an important role in an individual’s ongoing mental well-being. Unifor calls on employers to collaborate with workers and unions in being more proactive to build positive mental health practices that are inclusive and accessible to all.

This includes tackling harassment and bullying on the job and ensuring adequate services are in place. In recent rounds of collective bargaining with Bell, Unifor engaged in productive discussions and secured commitments to review mental health supports in the workplace.

“When mental illness arises, it can either be made better or worse at work, depending on the circumstances. All too often, it is made worse by a lack of understanding and a failure to root out workplace problems,” said Dias, “Through sharing personal stories of mental health, helping one another and building support systems into workplace practices and procedures, we can begin to achieve the hard but necessary challenge of promoting good mental health at work.” 

Unifor supports the Bell ‘Let’s Talk’ campaign to raise awareness and funds in support of mental health programs. On Wednesday, January 31, five cents will be donated for every text message, mobile or long distance call made by Bell customers.

Everyone can help to make a difference using social media, as five cents will also be donated for every tweet or Instagram post using #BellLetsTalk, and every time you watch the Bell Let’s Talk video or use the Facebook and Snapchat filter. For details visit:

Additional information about mental health in the workplace can be found on the Unifor website.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.


For more information, please contact Unifor Communications National Representative Sarah McCue at or 416-458-3307 (cell).