SEIU-West recognizes Mental Illness Awareness Week October 6-12.
The Saskatchewan Employment Act (SEA) includes mental health in its definition of “occupational health and safety”, as follows:
- the promotion and maintenance of the highest degree of physical, mental and social well-being of workers.
We understand many SEIU-West members and workers around the world experience high levels of stress and poor mental health due to work. Mental health concerns can stem from workload, workplace harassment, and many other factors that occur on the shop-floor. In response, each employer should have mental health policies as it is their responsibility to provide safe workplaces, as per the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) regulations (section 12).
SEIU-West also has many resources that can support you, including talking points for workload as an OHS issue, and anti-harassment training. Please contact the Member Resource Centre (MRC) at 1.888.999.7348 ext. 2298 for more information. Your family doctor can often recommend a professional for you as well. Other examples of supportive organizations include the Employee and Family Assistance Programs (EFAP) or associations such as the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) or the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) to name just a few.
- EFAP programs are confidential, short term, counselling services for employees with problems that affect their work performance. The services of EFAP providers are often purchased by your company. Check with your human resources department (or equivalent) for contact information.
- CMHA's programs are meant to ensure that people whose mental health is endangered will find the help needed to cope with crisis, regain confidence, and return to community, family and job. You can read an interview about mental health with staff from CMHA and our Young Workers Committee here.
- The CCSA promotes informed debate on substance abuse issues, and disseminates information on the nature, and assists organizations involved in substance abuse treatment, prevention and educational programming (resource: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety).
As always, your union is here to support you – know that you are never alone with SEIU-West.