Blue Monday – January 20, 2020
Blue Monday is the third Monday in January and is considered one of the most depressing days of the year. It’s a perfect opportunity to talk to each other about mental health, and advocate for more resources to be put towards mental health initiatives in the province.
Research has shown that depression is the fourth leading cause of disability and premature death worldwide. Yet, less than 4% of the health budget in Nova Scotia is devoted to the treatment of all forms of mental illness including depression. Our members who work in mental health are often working understaffed and are calling for more support.
The NSGEU Board of Directors recognizes the important work NSGEU members do each day, helping to support people who are struggling with mental health issues in Nova Scotia. In 2019, delegates to Convention resolved that NSGEU work with employers to create and strengthen supports that are accessible, affordable, and acceptable to foster mental health and wellness in the workplace through education, peer support and contract language. To this end, we have been continuing to work with the Public Service Commission towards the success of the Office of Workplace Mental Health which provides support to our members who work for the Public Service Commission, Tourism Nova Scotia, and the Nova Scotia Pension Corporation. You can find out more here: https://beta.novascotia.ca/government/office-workplace-mental-health. The Office helps our members find resources, tools and supports to help their mental health and well-being. We continue to lobby for this kind of support service to be extended and made available to all our membership.
Many of our members work in mental health areas and are struggling themselves with overwork and staffing shortages. As a union, we continue to raise the priority of mental health issues with government and press them to address the chronic under-funding of services.
So on Blue Monday, in solidarity, let’s thank the women and men who work in mental health and continue our call for more funding and support for appropriate mental health services in Nova Scotia.
You can listen to our podcast on Blue Monday, with host Mary Otto and guest, Tracey Fisk (who now works here at the union in our Labour Resource Centre) here: https://soundcloud.com/user-807277680/union-matters-blue-monday
Please note this podcast originally aired in January 2019.
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