(TORONTO, ON) ─ This October 1-7, we recognize Mental Illness Awareness Week across Canada and rise in solidarity with our many Ontario sisters and brothers who live with the debilitating reality of mental illness every day.
In any given week, at least 500,000 employed Canadians are unable to work due to mental health challenges, with the stigma associated with mental illness a primary reason that keeps many Ontarians from talking about mental illness, in their workplace or at home.
“There is a critical need for increased conversation about occupational mental illness and awareness in our workplaces,” said Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) Secretary-Treasurer Patty Coates. “That’s why we successfully introduced an Occupational Mental Health and Illness Awerness 101 workshop to expand the conversation around the various mental health challenges many Ontario workers face, and to end the associated stigma.”
To date, the popular half-day session led by mental health nurse, academic, and advocate Dr. Wendy Stanyon, has welcomed more than 250 working Ontarians in seven cities across the province. The next workshop is scheduled for the week of October 22.
“Having attended the workshop several times myself, along with our OFL team, I have become more aware of the basic language used to describe mental illnesses in the workplace and some truly important facts on mental illness that is helping our team to better dismantle stigma in our workplaces,” said Coates. “I strongly encourage our sisters and brothers to join the conversation on mental illness and help break the stigma.”
To help spread the word about Mental Illness Awareness Week, post or tweet #MIAW17.
If you or a co-worker are challenged with a mental health concern at work, visit The Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) for more information and help today.
Prevention Link, a Government of Ontario supported initiative administered by the Ontario Federation of Labour Executive Committee, is the leading provider of training and advisory support on secondary prevention of workplace injury in the province. For information, visit preventionlink.ca and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
The OFL represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. For information, visit www.OFL.ca and follow @OFLabour on Facebook and Twitter.
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Senior Communications & Outreach Specialist