Today is World Mental Health Day, observed on October 10 each year to encourage mental health awareness, education, and advocacy against social stigma.
Today is an opportunity to thank CUPE members working on the front lines as social service workers delivering mental health recovery and wellness programs that benefit thousands of Ontarians.
It is also a chance to acknowledge how job insecurity, work intensification, high demands, violence, and poor work-life balance are creating mental health problems for CUPE members in workplaces across Ontario.
Mental health challenges, particularly anxiety and depression, are on the rise. Despite the significant impacts on workers, the stigma surrounding this issue often creates barriers for those seeking treatment and support.
Work-related chronic mental stress and traumatic mental stress are increasingly common. Struggles with depression and suicidality are often private. Workplace bullying and violence are serious hazards that many CUPE members face every day.
The Ford government’s $335 million in cuts to planned spending on mental health are contributing to, rather than addressing these serious problems.
As union members, we have an important role to play in addressing mental health issues in the workplace and society. Health and Safety Committees and stewards have a special responsibility in supporting and representing members around mental health and mental illness. Members should be able to identify and understand mental health injuries at work, and equipped with the ability to deliver Mental Health First Aid. Employers must be encouraged to adopt a scientific approach to mental health, focusing on prevention and facilitating members’ integration into the workplace.
On World Mental Health Day, we reaffirm our commitment to maintain healthy workplaces where our members’ mental well-being is always a priority.
Mental Injury Toolkit: https://www.ohcow.on.ca/mental-injury-toolkit.html
CUPE Workplace Violence and Harassment Prevention Kit: https://cupe.ca/cupes-workplace-violence-and-harassment-prevention-kit-available-online
If you are experiencing a mental health or addictions related crisis:
- Contact your doctor
- Go to the nearest hospital
- Find a local crisis line
- Find a mobile crisis team
- Call 911 or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000