The BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) would like to give a special thank you to the thousands of members who work every day to support those who live with mental health conditions. It takes a special kind of person willing to dedicate their careers to supporting people who suffer from mental health conditions – those special people are members in Component 4 health services, Component 8 community health services, Component 3 community social services, and Component 6 social, information and health.
The work these members do is sometimes invisible but always invaluable. We owe them a very special thank you during this week as we all take time to raise awareness and education on mental health.
But there's a contradiction: while the work our members do in mental health is crucial to ensuring the safety and well-being of their clients, their own mental health is often forgotten or neglected.
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety says mental health is “…a state of well-being in which you understand your own abilities, can cope with normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and are able to make a contribution to your community.”
Too few workers are able to find a balance in their lives to ensure their mental health. Many workers and employers overlook or simply ignore mental health in the workplace, but the cost to the worker and the employer is substantial. This has negative impacts on both the worker and the workplace, and it's a trend that needs to be stopped. We encourage members to understand what mental health in the workplace looks like, and to take steps to help ensure that their employer makes their workplaces safe.
For Mental Health Awareness Week (May 2-8, 2016) we will be publishing information on mental health for individuals and in the workplace.
To see the Canadian Mental Health Association's Get Loud campaign click here.
Members from Component 8, community health services, can access the Community Health Retraining Fund here.