Buddy Up Suicide Prevention Campaign and Gate Collection

Buddy Up is a men’s suicide prevention campaign: a call to action to men, by men, encouraging them to have real conversations with each other about how they’re doing.

GM St. Catharines has decided to become a Buddy Up Champion, dedicating the week of June 20 to men’s suicide prevention through awareness, resources, and engagement opportunities.

In Canada, men have a suicide rate three times higher than women.

Why? We have socialized men to be strong, stoic and self-reliant; showing emotion is a sign of weakness, as is asking for help. Further, men are underserved by our traditional health and social service sectors. Men are dying in alarming numbers, all around us, alone. On top of that, last several years have been a challenge for everyone. With the majority of our GM membership being men, we know that now is an important time for us to engage in these conversations, to help spread awareness and reduce stigma when it comes to mental health and the struggles we are experiencing.

This week, the Joint Health and Wellness Committee is educating GM workers about statistics, warning signs, why men are more at risk, and how suicide can be prevented. We’ll be sharing resources and how you can start a conversation with a buddy who you may be worried about.

Some aspects of our campaign include –

Display boards in each Clock House with handouts & swag to take; communicating experiences and testimonials from our members and union reps: Buddy Up photo contest with prizes: gate collection for Distress Centre Niagara.

Gate Collection Thursday June 23

 GM St Catharines will be collecting cash donations for Distress Centre of Niagara during the day and afternoon shift change in both Clock Houses Thursday June 23rd.

Distress Centre Niagara has operated in the Region for over 50 years with trained volunteers providing a 24hr helpline, text & chat support as well as mental health/suicide prevention training. As partners of COAST Crisis Line and ACCESSLine, Distress Centre has been an incredibly important organization for those struggling in our community – especially over the last few years.

Please give what you can!

Learn more about Distress Center of Niagara here https://distresscentreniagara.com/

Learn more about Buddy Up here www.buddyup.ca

*If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide, call COAST 24hr Crisis Line at 1-866-550-5205

 The Joint Health & Wellness Committee

Jessica McCourt

Employment Equity Rep & Women’s Advocate
Unifor Local 199 General Motors Unit
Office: 905.641.6559
Cell: 289.228.5967





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