Commissioner's update for correctional employees:
December 11, 2023

This content is a message to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) staff from CSC's Commissioner.

Last week marked the start of the festive season with Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, taking place from December 7 to December 15 this year.

I would like to wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday season!

The holidays can also be a difficult and stressful time for many. If you feel overwhelmed, need support, or would like to learn more about how to manage your mental health, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to you and your family members. The EAP is confidential and non-judgemental and can help with many personal and professional challenges.

9-8-8: Suicide Crisis Helpline

Canadians now have access to a bilingual, trauma-informed, and culturally appropriate mental health and suicide prevention support. A Suicide Crisis Helpline was lunched by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and their partners.

This new service is accessible 24/7, 365 days a year. All calls and texts are free and confidential.

Every day, an average of 12 people die by suicide in Canada. I recognize that this subject can be triggering for many of us. I strongly believe in openly talking about our mental health and getting help when struggling. We have made progress towards suicide prevention but there is still work to do and it is our duty to raise awareness.

If you need help or know someone that might be thinking about suicide, I encourage you to call or text 9-8-8. A trained crisis responder will listen to you and provide support with compassion, providing a safe space for you to talk. 

Ed McIsaac Human Rights in Corrections Award

I would like to congratulate Susan Haines on winning the 2023 Ed McIsaac Human Rights in Corrections Award. Ms. Haines has served as the Executive Director of the National Associations Active in Criminal Justice (NAACJ) for the past 17 years. She volunteers with the Millhaven Lifers Liaison Group, offering support to those serving life in prison.

Ms. Haines is a lifelong human rights advocate who I am proud to work with to ensure a positive, safe and healing environment within our institutions.

Update on CSC’s new podcast: Prisons Inside/Out

Last month, I was proud to unveil the name of CSC’s new podcast, Prisons Inside/Out. Thank you again to all those who submitted their ideas and helped name our first-ever podcast series. I was delighted to see the enthusiasm for this new project and the pride everyone took in sharing the important and impactful work you all do.

As episode production continues and we approach the official release date, I’m happy to share that the podcast webpage and series teaser were published live last week. Visit the page for more information on our podcast initiative and listen to the teaser: 

Stay tuned for further updates on the podcast, including the official release date for the first episode, CSC 101: Introduction to federal corrections

If you have ideas for future episodes or have feedback about the podcast so far, our communications team would love to hear them:

Outside an institution, there are two CSC vehicles parked with one uniformed CSC officer standing in the middle

Please note that the last weekly message of the year will be sent next week on December 18.
The weekly message will resume in the new year on January 8.

Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.

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