New workplace mental health program on its way

New workplace mental health program on its way The board of the Mental Health Association of Yukon thanks everyone who attended our annual dinner and general meeting on June 9. Our guest speaker, Michael Pietrus from the Mental Health Commission of Cana

The board of the Mental Health Association of Yukon thanks everyone who attended our annual dinner and general meeting on June 9.

Our guest speaker, Michael Pietrus from the Mental Health Commission of Canada, gave a presentation addressing the significant impact of stigma associated with mental illness. Two thirds of Canadians struggling with mental illness will not share their struggles even with their family doctor because of fear of being judged.

Earlier in the day Mr. Pietrus gave a presentation to front line health care workers concerning the stigma that exists within their profession. Front line workers are the first contact patients have when seeking help. A negative experience due to misconceptions about mental illness with front line workers only reinforces the stigma.

Mr. Pietrus addressed 100 students at Porter Creek Secondary School about the impact stigma has on addressing the mental health needs of youth.

Statistics show that 75 per cent of young people will not discuss their mental health problems. This is particularly alarming when 70 per cent of adults who report a mental illness say it began in their teenage years. Early intervention is a key to helping people address their mental health needs.

Mr. Pietrus also addressed the role the media plays in reporting stories concerning people with mental illness. He pointed out that 40 per cent of stories portray people with mental illness as being violent when in fact statistics show there is a much higher risk of people with mental illness being victims. The risk of anyone being harmed by someone with a mental illness is in fact

very low.

Stigma in the workplace can prevent people from seeking support due to fear of being shunned, limiting their career opportunities or even being fired. Most of our waking time is spent in the workplace and significant changes in corporate culture need to take place.

Our association is introducing a workplace program called ‘Mental Health Works’. This is a program of the CMHA-Ontario Division which provides workshops to help open the discussion of mental health in the workplace with staff and provides skills to assist supervisors in working with struggling employees.

The Mental Health Association of Yukon is committed to eliminating the stigma associated with mental illness.

Ray Wells

Chair, Mental Health Association of Yukon

Just Posted

Remembering Capt. Dick Stevenson, the inventor of the sourtoe cocktail

The Captain, who created the drink that in turn created countless honourary… Continue reading

YG releases ‘ambitious’ plan to combat climate change

It calls for lowering greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2030

CPAWS Yukon ‘disappointed’ controversial writer to give keynote at Yukon Geoscience Forum

Vivian Krause is scheduled to deliver a keynote address at the forum on Nov. 16.

PSAC president speaks out about Queen’s Printer, Central Stores situation

‘It’s not good for the Yukon. It’s not good for the taxpayers of the Yukon.’

Whitehorse biathlete Nadia Moser earns IBU World Cup spot on Canadian team

Whitehorse’s Nadia Moser will begin the biathlon season at the IBU World… Continue reading

Whitehorse Glacier Bears host swimmers from Inuvik and B.C. at Ryan Downing Memorial Invitational Swim Meet

“Everyone had a good time – it was amazing. It was a really great meet.”

City news, briefly

Some of the decisions made at the Nov. 12 Whitehorse council meeting

Driving with Jens: Yielding is at the heart of defensive driving

If you’re like most people, you probably think about whether you have right-of-way, not yielding

Today’s mailbox: Remembrance Day, highway work

Letters to the editor published Nov. 13

F.H. Collins Warriors beat Vanier Crusaders in Super Volley boys volleyball final

“As long as we can control their big plays to a minimum, we’ll be successful”

Yukonomist: The squirrel, the husky and the rope

The squirrel is political popularity.

Most Read