More than 450 million people worldwide suffer from mental health conditions. However, people often do not seek the help they need due to the stigma frequently surrounding the topic. In Canada, about 30 per cent of short- and long-term disability claims are linked to mental health issues1. The COVID-19 pandemic has further impacted mental health globally2, but also led to a reimagining of what future mental health care could look like.
Mental Health Awareness at Teck
At Teck, mental health is an important component of our goal of everyone going home safe and healthy every day. Our Employee and Family Assistance Program provides resources and support to help maintain good mental health. These resources include support for stress arising from grief and loss, crisis situations, relationship and family, workplace challenges, nutrition, and services for financial and legal advice.
Teck’s Inspiring Wellness and Learning Programs Committee was originally established at Trail Operations in 2005. Since then, the programs have expanded to all our operations. In addition, various health and wellness initiatives, including mental health awareness training, health screening events and family programs have been implemented across Teck.
The Mental Health Awareness Crew Talks program at Trail Operations is one such program. This involved 45-minute face-to-face mental health awareness sessions that were delivered to over 1,000 employees over the course of 2016. In 2019, the program was supplemented by the Safe and Sound 2 program which includes video testimonials and real-life stories from employees at Teck. These programs have now been expanded to other operations including Elkview, Line Creek, Greenhills, Highland Valley Copper, Red Dog, Pend Oreille, and Teck’s Corporate Head Office. For supervisors, three-hour Safe and Sound 2 supervisor training sessions took place at Red Dog, which helped to train supervisors on having difficult conversations related to mental health among their employees. To supplement these programs, Teck has also produced a mental health awareness video that is now used in our company-wide Courageous Safety Leadership training program.
Teck is currently in the process of developing a company-wide Mental Health Policy to further support our existing initiatives.
COVID-19 and Mental Health
In response to the mental health impacts of COVID-19, Teck has implemented new and expanded services to help support our people. This includes providing our employees and their families in Canada, the U.S. and Chile with access to telemedicine services via phone, video, or mobile health app. Our Canadian employees also have access to Best Doctors Mental Health Navigator, a virtual service that provides plan members with confidential and expert mental health guidance. Users can use these virtual health services to speak with, and seek advice from clinicians, including psychologists and psychiatrists, about medical or mental health concerns.
The global health crisis posed by COVID-19 is unlike anything previously faced by our employees, families, communities and company. Through this challenging time, Teck is committed to putting in place measures to support the mental and physical health of our workers and their families. We are closely monitoring and following guidance from public health agencies and government.