Description: Members of the Federal Speakers' Bureau on Healthy Workplaces discuss the benefits of talking openly about mental health and the importance of reaching out for help.
Produced by the Canada School of Public Service and the Centre of Expertise on Mental Health in the Workplace (Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat), in association with the Canadian Innovation Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace (Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada).
Date: October 23, 2019
[On-screen: #GCMentalHealth You Are Not Alone]
Jessica Ward-King, Free Agent, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat: I would say my life improved dramatically when I started talking about what I was going through and how I was feeling. When I started talking to myself, to my family, I promise you, ultimately, it is more helpful than the not talking.
Joshua Alcorn, COMES Custodian and Security Coordinator, Transport Canada: I've made use of a few resources that are out there for employees of the government such as the Employee Assistance Program and it's open to me any time, right, which is the great thing. And I don't have to wait to get into a state where I'm in dire need of help. If there is something that is just bugging me, I know I can pick up the phone and call EAP and get the help from a counsellor.
Les Escobar, Senior Program Advisor, Immigrant, Refugees and Citizenship Canada: I remember finishing work at 8 in the morning on a Saturday and getting home, and all my kids wanted to do was give Dad a hug. And I was so out of it that I misconstrued their wanting to give me a hug as them just annoying me. The affection is there, but it's a two-way street. So, the message I would give and that I've been starting to share is, you're not alone. You have people around you whether you think it or not.
SanDee Vandal, Manager, Employment and Social Development Canada: Being somebody who wore a lot of masks, and didn't know I wore a lot of masks, my suggestion to them would be to reach out, that they are not alone. It pains me when people suffer in silence, because from my own experience, I may not be able to take away your burdens, but when I share them with somebody else, they are so much lighter.
Neida Santini, Assistant Director, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada: If you're struggling and you haven't reached out for help because you feel ashamed, because you don't know what to do, or because you simply are like me at the beginning, I didn't believe I had a problem. If you are in denial, all I'm going to say is: It's never too late, there's no timeline to get better. So, don't give up. Stay there, keep going, do your exercises if you're doing cognitive behavioural therapy. Focus on getting better and not in a selfish way, but self-care is important. Once you come out of that, you're going to be so happy that you took the time to take care of yourself.
[On-screen: Mental health starts here.]