"We don’t need small changes — we need massive changes in how we approach mental health in the workplace. We need legislative change." — Jerry Earle, NAPE President
St. John's (12 June 2018) — At a press conference today, Jerry Earle, President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Private and Public Employees (NAPE/NUPGE), outlined the urgent need for improved legislation for those who face or witness dangerous, threatening, violent, and traumatizing situations.
Work doesn't stay at work: more support needed for work-related mental health injuries
Earle said, "These situations can have a deep and lasting impact that can lead to operational stress and mental health injuries/illnesses, those that have been traditionally called disorders, including Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, sleep, mood disorders. We must remember that what happens at work doesn't just stay at work; it doesn't just go away when the uniform comes off or when the shift is over. These workers need and deserve supports in place to deal with their work-related mental health injuries — because heroes are human too."
"In workplaces where people are often exposed to trauma, it is vitally important for employers to offer regular critical incident stress management," Earle continued. "It is also important for employers and co-workers to recognize the symptoms of these injuries and encourage people exhibiting symptoms to seek help."
"We need to break down the stigma that exists in our workplaces around mental health, support each other, and work to build safer workplaces," said Earle.
NAPE/NUPGE will be at the forefront of this fight
"We don’t need small changes — we need massive changes in how we approach mental health in the workplace. We need legislative change."
That's why NAPE/NUPGE commissioned a position paperentitled A Call for Presumptive lLegislation: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Occupational Stress Injuries, and the Wellbeing of the Workforce. This academic paper was prepared by Dr. Rosemary Ricciardelli of Memorial University.
Earle said, "Newfoundland and Labrador can't wait any longer, and it’s already too late for those who have lost their battle."
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE