MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT
It has been two years since the beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic, and looking back, I don’t think anyone predicted that we would still be in it today. Personally, I have experienced my own waves of ups and downs just like many of us here at GM have. At the beginning – fear and uncertainty of the virus, public health measures and job interruption were contributing factors to our collective struggle with mental health. According to Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), we are experiencing similar levels of depleted mental health as we did in May of 2020. CAMH’s nationwide survey asked Canadians about health metrics like anxiety, depression, and substance use. They found that while the results are similar, there are new contributing factors like being fatigued, frustrated, and asking “when will this end?”
With 1 in 3 Canadians saying that they are struggling with their mental health, it is safe to assume that here at GM St Catharines we would see similar numbers if we ran our own survey. In fact, I am seeing it in the plant every day as I am sure you are. While we are all doing our best to cope, we are watching our union brothers and sisters struggle. We are experiencing heightened emotions, increased conflict and tension amongst each other.
This is a good time to remind you that there are resources available to help us through this. The world of mental health resources is a big one and it can be very confusing – one size does not fit all – but your reps are very familiar with what is available here in the Niagara Region. If you are struggling or looking for info for yourself or a family member, we will make every effort to not only refer you to services but also to help educate, support, and guide you through the process. Costs associated with therapy programs can be a barrier to those seeking help, but it can be beneficial to look at it as investing in yourself so that you can be a better version of you. We have sourced counselling partners in our community who offer GM workers a discounted rate helping to alleviate some of that financial barrier. (Did you know that some counselling is covered under benefits for full time workers?) There are also several FREE resources out there that we can get you connected with if you do not have coverage.
If you are struggling, need someone to talk to, need to vent or want some assistance with resources, please reach out to myself (Jessica McCourt), Alex Latham or Substance Abuse Rep, Mike Gilbert. You can call, text, email or ask your GL to put in a call for us. If you are uncomfortable talking on the floor, we have private offices in the WEST Clockhouse that you can come to – ask your GL to come up or simply drop in when you have time. Alternatively, if you are uncomfortable asking your GL, contact your committeeperson or any other union rep, and they will be able to connect you with us.
Confidentiality is one of the most important aspects of our jobs so please know that we will respect your privacy and topics discussed will be in confidence. Our goal is to simply be supports to you and help you get community connections during this challenging time.
Jessica McCourt: email@example.com 289-228-5967
Alex Latham: firstname.lastname@example.org 289-696-6884
Mike Gilbert: email@example.com 905-658-2729
Wellness Together Canada & PocketWell App
Track your mood and well-being and access mental health & substance use support from trained professionals, all completely free. Wellness Together Canada (WTC) is a mental health and substance use website funded by the Government of Canada. Their aim is to support people across Canada. With the WTC companion app PocketWell, you’ll be able to use research-based tools to measure and track your well-being, including a self-assessment developed by psychologists.
PocketWell available through Android and Apple App stores – search: ‘PocketWell”
Find programs and services in your community. Navigate the network of human services quickly and easily.
Canadian Mental Health Association(CMHA) Niagara
Provide mental health programs and services to assist individuals 16 years and older with their short and long-term mental health goals. Provide access to counselling services, mental health programs and crisis support.
Call CMHA ACCESSLine 1-866-550-5205
If you need more info on these resources or anything else mentioned in this leaflet, please contact one of us. We are here to support you.
Employment Equity Rep
*If you or someone you know is experiencing crisis or having thoughts of suicide call COAST crisis line at 1-866-550-5205
Download printable version here: Mental Health Support