ADDRESSING THE SILENT EPIDEMIC
Did you know that workers in the skilled trades field are at a higher risk of experiencing mental health challenges? From long hours to isolated job sites, to physically demanding work, there are many factors that can impact the mental well-being of construction workers in Manitoba. Yet, due to enduring stigma around mental illness and the persistence of the “tough guy” construction persona, many workers feel they have no one to turn to – choosing to suffer in silence. That shouldn’t be the reality.
Since our inception, Manitoba Building Trades unions have been dedicated to improving worksite health and safety conditions and reducing fatal hazards. We do everything in our power to ensure our members go home at the end of the day. Now, let’s make sure they all come back.
By making mental health a part of the conversation and a priority in the construction industry, we can end the silent epidemic.
In the spirit of creating awareness and breaking down negative stigma in the construction industry, Manitoba Building Trades is offering free mental health first aid course to learn about the impacts of mental illness, response techniques and how to engage with members.
CONTACT US TO REGISTER!
People Connect offers self-serve resources and information to help them create a psychologically safe workplace. The service also provides employees educational tools, online assessments, and access to immediate care through virtual counselling. Create an account and start exploring resources.
We want to make sure all union workers in the building trades have the tools to succeed, both on and off the job.
Show support for mental health on your work site while also discreetly sharing mental health resources with workers who may be in need with our NEW QR code toolkit stickers.
Contact our MBT office to order stickers for your membership!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS MENTAL HEALTH?
When talking about “health” many of us often think about our physical well-being first, but our emotional well-being is equally important in helping us achieve our daily goals. Just as we exercise or eat well to stay fit, there are many small things we can all do to take care of our mind and our mood every day – and many things we can do to support each other in achieving mental health.
While there is no “one size fits all” method to preventing or treating mental illness, regaining our mental well-being and returning to a healthy life balance is possible!
WHAT IS MENTAL ILLNESS?
Everyone goes through unique challenges (some more difficult than others) and it’s completely normal to experience a range of emotions like anger, sadness, or fear when life’s challenges become hard to manage.
However, when these sorts of feelings increase or linger for long periods of time, it can create distinct changes in our behaviour, mood or way of thinking and lead to a state significant mental distress if left unaddressed. This is categorized as mental illness.
WHAT PUTS WORKERS AT RISK?
It’s important to note that anyone can develop a mental illness in their lifetime and certain factors can put some people at higher risk than others. This includes:
1. A history of mental illness in a direct blood relative (ex. a parent)
2. Stressful life situations, such as financial problems, a loved one’s death, a divorce, homelessness or unemployment
3. Traumatic past experiences, such as military combat, assault, abuse, or neglect
4. An ongoing (chronic) medical condition or disease
5. Brain damage as a result of a serious head injury or pre-existing medical complication
6. Use of alcohol or recreational drugs
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Knowing the warning signs and intervening early can help you reduce the severity of a mental illness. If you experience any (or multiple) of the following symptoms, know that you are not alone.
1. Dramatic appetite or sleep pattern changes
2.Dramatic decrease in energy / motivation to do daily tasks, work or activities or a decline in personal care habits
3.Dramatic shifts in emotions such as feelings of depression, anxiety or an increase in irritability
4.Problems with concentration, memory or logical thought
5. Recent social withdrawal or a sense of feeling disconnected from others around you (at work or at home)
6. Constant feelings of fear, worry, or hopelessness for the future