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

Whether the dust jacket of this historical novel is the Canadian version (left) or the American (right), the readable content within is the same. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: New novel a gripping account of the gold rush

Stampede: Gold Fever and Disaster in the Klondike is an ‘enjoyable and readable’ account of history


Wyatt’s World for May 14, 2021.… Continue reading

Copies of the revised 2021-22 budget documents tabled in the legislature on May 14. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Liberals introduce new budget with universal dental and safe supply funding

The new items were added to secure the support of the NDP.

Community Services Minister Richard Mostyn speaks to reporters on May 13. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Cap on rent increases will take effect May 15

The rollout of the policy is creating ‘chaos,’ says opposition

Yukon News file
A 21-year-old man is in custody after a stabbing in Porter Creek on May 14.
One man in hospital, another in custody, after alleged stabbing in Porter Creek

A police dog was used to track the suspect who was later arrested in a wooded area.

Safe at home office in Whitehorse on May 10, 2021. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Federal government provides $1.6 million for Yukon anti-homelessness work

Projects including five mobile homes for small communities received funding.

Drilling at Northern Tiger’s 3Ace gold project in 2011. Randi Newton argues that mining in the territory can be reshaped. (Yukon government/file)
Editorial: There’s momentum for mining reform

CPAWS’ Randi Newton argues that the territory’s mining legislations need a substantial overhaul

At its May 10 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved the subdivision for the Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s business park planned in Marwell. (Submitted)
KDFN business park subdivision approved

Will mean more commercial industrial land available in Whitehorse

Main Street in Whitehorse on May 4. Whitehorse city council has passed the first two readings of a bylaw to allow pop-up patios in city parking spaces. Third reading will come forward later in May. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Whitehorse council pursuing restaurant patio possibilities

Council passes first two readings for new patio bylaw

Neil Hartling, the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon president, left, said the new self-isolation guidelines for the Yukon are a ‘ray of hope’ for tourism operators. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Yukon tourism operators prepared for ‘very poor summer’ even with relaxed border rules

Toursim industry responds to new guidelines allowing fully vaccinated individuals to skip mandatory self-isolation.

A lawsuit has been filed detailing the resignation of a former Yukon government mine engineer. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A year after resigning, former chief mine engineer sues Yukon government

Paul Christman alleges a hostile work environment and circumvention of his authority led him to quit

Former Liberal MLA Pauline Frost speaks to reporters outside the courthouse on April 19. One of the voters accused of casting an invalid vote has been granted intervenor status in the lawsuit Frost filed last month. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Voters named in Pauline Frost election lawsuit ask to join court proceedings

The judge granted Christopher Schafer intervenor status

Most Read