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HEALTH AND SAFETY: Symposium to shine light on mental health in residential construction
September 23rd, 2019 12:45 pm     A+ | a-
Amina Dibe and Cassandra Dobrzynski / RESCON

Mental health is an important issue for all workplaces and one that affects everyone, whether it’s us, a family member, friend or colleague. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, one in five people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness in any given year. By age 40, about 50% of the population will have or have had a mental illness.

RESCON members and the residential construction industry have identified mental health as a top issue with the goal of improving awareness, facilitating discussion, destigmatizing mental health and addictions, and taking a leadership position moving forward. That is why RESCON is hosting its first mental health symposium on Thursday, Nov. 7 at the Eagles Nest Golf Club in Maple. Click here to register.

Our members have three key goals. First, they have asked for more details on mental health education and training. Second, there is a desire for more information on research, government policies and industry best practices to better prepare for on-site and in-office practical realities in the workplace. Third, they want to learn about the resources available through the benefit plan, government agencies, and the not-for-profit sector.

RESCON is listening: this symposium marks the first step in addressing mental health and addiction issues in the residential and related infrastructure construction sectors. RESCON relies on the feedback of its board of directors as well as those sitting on the association’s health and safety committee to identify workplaces issues. At this event, RESCON will be surveying members and participants to better understand what education events will provide the most impact for members and their companies.

This kickoff event will bring together construction professionals and experts to advance knowledge and skills related to construction mental health practice, research, training and policy. We are inviting owners, senior management, on-site supervisors, human resource professionals, health and safety managers, and those interested in learning more about mental health and addictions in the residential construction industry.

Minister Michael Tibollo

The event will include representatives from the government, a keynote address by the Hon. Michael Tibollo, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, and a presentation by Ron Kelusky, chief prevention officer at the Ministry of Labour. In addition, Carissa Tanzola – a leading lawyer from Filion Wakely – will provide a legal update which will touch on issues related to WSIB, human rights and accommodation concerns, and when employers should seek legal advice.

Finally, the event will include a panel discussion on services and resources available to companies, employers and employees, including commentary from Threads of Life (the association for workplace tragedy support), the Canadian Mental Health Association and Employee Benefits Administration.

There will also be an optional workshop which will be restricted to 30 participants. The workshop will discuss real life examples of on-site mental health issues in the construction industry and how companies can take a proactive approach to reduce the stigma of mental illness on site.

For more information on the Nov. 7 event, please contact Cassandra Dobrzynski at
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