MENTAL HEALTH – LET’S TALK ABOUT IT
Today, January 28, 2021, is Bell Let’s Talk Day and as our world continues to be turned upside down, this is a day to be reminded that now, more than ever, mental health matters and it should not be ignored. One year into this pandemic, we need to help each other, and we need to take the time to recognize and look after our own mental health. Every year, approximately one in five Canadians experience a mental health challenge. As the pandemic drags on, reports say Canadian’s mental health continues to decline.
The trucking industry has many employees in different occupations, including drivers on the road, office, yard, shop, etc. that are all adjusting to the ever-changing landscape and working conditions we are living in. Changes in working environments, new protocols and procedures to follow, and more time alone or in isolation are just some of the issues that are affecting our daily routines, causing stress and anxiety.
At Erb, we understand the importance of employee mental health and are pleased to offer many resources for our employees and their families during these unprecedented times. The Erb Highway to Health Program is offered to all Erb employees and encourages them to recognize and focus on their physical and mental health. Weekly tips and topics are posted to engage employees and equip them on their road to a healthy lifestyle. This month our focus has been on Bell Let’s Talk Day and encouraging our teams to help end the stigma.
Here are 5 simple ways to help end the stigma that keeps too many who struggle with mental illness from seeking the help they need:
1. Language matters: the words you use can make a difference.
- “Do you want to talk about it?” …
- “I’m here for you.” …
- “What can I do to help?” …
- “That sounds really difficult.” …
- “You’re not alone”…
- “I’m really sorry you’re going through this.” …
- “You are worthy and deserving” …
2. Educate yourself: knowing the facts and myths about mental illness can be a great way to help end the stigma. For more information click here.
3. Be kind: simple acts of kindness can help open the conversation and let someone know you are there for them. Remember to also be kind to yourself.
- Show some love to someone through a note, call, or text.
- Share what mental health feels like. There’s power in sharing.
- Tag a friend on a funny video. Laughter helps reduce anxiety.
- Do something with friends and family like a game or walk.
- Take a walk with a coworker you haven’t spent time with
- Do your best to enjoy 15 minutes of sunshine.
4. Listen and ask: being a good listener and asking how you can help can be the first step in recovery. Be attentive and limit distractions.
5. Talk about it: mental illness touches us all in some way directly or through a friend, family member, or colleague. Most people with mental health issues can and do recover, just by talking about it. Don’t be afraid to open up to those around you and you may find out someone close to you is struggling as well.
As we brace for a longer recovery period from the pandemic, it’s important to be constantly checking in and supporting your coworkers, your friends, your kids, and your family. Remember that everyone is feeling the impact of the pandemic on their mental health and everyone reacts differently to stress and may not show it the same way.
The world, in some ways, seems broken, but don’t lose hope. End the stigma around mental health and reach out to someone. Bell Let’s Talk Day reminds us that “talking is the best way to start breaking down the barriers associated with mental illness.”
For more information on Bell Let’s Talk Day and websites on managing and supporting mental health click here.