|As part of the Mind Matters campaign, UFCW Canada is running a special webCampus course series entitled Mental Health Matters, learn more here.|
Toronto – October 3, 2017 – Each year, World Mental Health Day is observed on October 10 to raise awareness of mental health issues, and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health initiatives. This year's World Mental Health Day is dedicated to mental health in the workplace.
In Canada, one in five individuals will experience a mental health issue or illness in their lifetime. On average, about 30 percent of short- and long-term disabilities in Canadian workplaces are related to mental health.
Mental health includes our emotional, social, and psychological well-being – it affects how we think, feel, and act, and also determines how we handle stress and relate to others. According to the World Health Organization, there are more than 350 million people across the globe who are currently living with a mental illness.
Mental health at work is a priority for UFCW Canada members. At the recent UFCW Canada Youth Conference, young workers from across the country cited mental health as one of the five key issues that they would like to see addressed by governments at all levels. As a strong union, we know that actions promoting mental health and well-being start with inclusive language in collective agreements and supports for people experiencing mental health issues at work. Accordingly, delegates at the recent UFCW Canada National Council Convention endorsed a resolution to develop training for union staff and representatives on 'psychological health and safety' to support members living with mental health issues.
In addition, UFCW Canada is launching a new campaign for World Mental Health Day. Entitled “Mind Matters,” the initiative aims to educate Canadians about mental health, and eradicate the stigma surrounding mental illnesses at work and at home.
As labour activists, it is our duty to ensure that workers are treated with dignity and respect at work. We must also ensure that workers have a safe environment on the job, free of harassment and discrimination. This World Mental Health Day, let us renew our commitment to fight for the mental health and safety of all workers on the job, and redouble our efforts to fight the stigma surrounding mental health issues at work and in our communities.
Paul R. Meinema