More than 350 million people worldwide suffer from mental health problems or illness, and because mental illness can be marked by both stigma and silence, people often do not seek the help they need.
The World Health Organization defines mental health as: a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.
At Teck, mental health is an important component to everyone going home safe and healthy every day, and Trail Operations is leading the way in addressing mental health in the workplace. To date, Gord Menelaws, Inspiring Wellness and Learning Coordinator, has delivered 53 crew talks on mental health, reaching over 700 employees, helping reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, and sharing information on the tools and resources available.
In his crew talks, Gord, who is also a trainer with the Canadian Mental Health Association, shares his own personal story to help illustrate how mental health can be addressed in the workplace.
“Years ago, when my four children were younger, and I had a job at the local union office, the stress of everyday life got to me. One day a co-worker approached me saying he noticed I didn’t seem to be acting like myself—I wasn’t doing any of the things I used to enjoy doing outside of work, and at work, I was isolating myself from others.” This conversation led to a critical but difficult next step for Gord.
“I visited our Employee and Family Assistance Program—it was probably the hardest and the best thing I’ve ever done.” As a result, Gord, who was diagnosed with depression, was able to receive the support and medical help he needed to get better.
In his role as a Wellness and Learning Coordinator at Trail Operations, Gord also coordinates other wellness programs, such as hiking groups, family activities, or lunchtime yoga sessions. As an avid mountain biker and sports enthusiast, he notes that activities like exercise are excellent coping mechanisms to help improve our mental health. Other coping skills include:
- Social support: relationships with family and friends
- Physical: exercise, walking, yoga
- Mental: looking ahead with optimism
- Sense of belonging: community and cultural connections, volunteer work
Teck’s Employee and Family Assistance Programs provide resources and support to help achieve mental health. These resources include support for stress arising from grief and loss, crisis situations, relationship and family, workplace challenges, nutrition, and financial and legal advice.
For free and confidential help, or for more information, please contact your site’s Employee and Family Assistance Program provider, or your local HR representative.