Mental health is just as important as our physical health. In any given year, 1 in 5 Canadians experiences a mental illness. By the time Canadians reach 40 years of age, 1 in 2 have – or have had – a mental illness.

Mental Health Awareness Week will take place May 1-May 7, as part of a national campaign by the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Earlier this year, the Ontario EFAP committee promoted the sale of a Unifor End the Stigma t-shirt. The response was tremendous. Those who purchased the t-shirt are asked to wear it throughout the week of May 1st to show your support. Take a photo of you wearing your shirt or holding a print-out of the graphic and share it with Download the graphics here.

Hand-in-hand with awareness is access to information on prevention.  No workplace is immune from mental injury hazard. That is why our definition of occupational health and safety cannot be limited to physical well-being only; it must include mental well-being as well. With most adults spending more of their waking hours at their workplace than anywhere else, addressing issues of mental health on the job is crucially important.

Together, we must keep this responsibility to ourselves and to our co-workers in mind during any work activity.  Ensuring a psychologically healthy workplace (a workplace that promotes workers’ psychological well-being and actively works to prevent harm to worker psychological health) is a key function of Occupational Health and Safety Committees (OHSC).  Just like any other hazard at workplace, our Joint Health and Safety Committees need to recognize, assess, control, evaluate, review, adjust, monitor and maintain the program. Learn more about the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace which identifies psychosocial risk factors in the workplace.

No Unifor member is alone.

Unifor Local 199 members who are looking for resources are encouraged to contact:

Employment Equity Representatives/Union Counsellors : Alex Latham 289-696-6884 and Jessica McCourt 289-228-5967
Substance Abuse Representative : Mike Gilbert 905-658-2729

Mental Health Resources:

Canadian Mental Health Association Niagara Branch

Community Addiction Services of Niagara

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


In solidarity,

Jessica McCourt

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