60 Seconds with Jerry Ryan, employee co-champion for mental health

Video / January 27, 2021


(JR) Hi, my name is Jerry Ryan. I'm the president of the Dockyard Trade and Labour Council here in Halifax. I'm also the employee co-champion for mental health and I've agreed to take the 60 Seconds Challenge. So, I'll reach into the bowl and grab a question.

The first question: "What advice do you have for employees who might need a helping hand with their personal well-being?"
Reach out for somebody and talk. Talking, sharing is critically important and when you choose to do that, you lower your walls, it allows other people to share with you. I think it's critically important that we share and we also look at the mental health continuum and see where we're at. If we feel we're in the red when we understand the continuum, seek professional help.

Question 2: "What are some online tools available to help support mental health?"
Canadian Mental Health Association websites are across Canada. They're available and any information that's in there is extensive. The Centre of Expertise for Mental Health with the Treasury Board is another public service tool and if you go on COVID-19 Canada, there are mental health links available to everyone. Also, if it's training that you require, the School of Public Service and Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has many online tools that start the conversation.

"What is something you feel very passionate about?"
I feel very passionate about the Standard for Psychological Health and Safety. We're the first country in the world to create this in 2013. And since 2013 to 2020, the increase awareness of mental health is there and Bell Let's talk Day brings it to everyone every year. It's important to share, to communicate, to converse in all of those things. Tear down the walls to reduce the stigma and make sure that people understand that it's not a sign of weakness to reach for help.

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