On January 23, 2024, the Mind Matters Panel Discussion, hosted by the Social Development Counsel of Cornwall and Area Employability Network, took place at the Civic Complex. The main attraction of the event was the panel, coming together from diverse backgrounds, who spoke briefly on topics related to workplace mental health. About 75 people were in attendance, and it was a great success.
Seen in the header pic left to right are: Tony Hall , Tom Hickey, Mitch Roy, Stephen Douris.
Panelist Tony Hall spoke about his life with PTSD after being the chief engineer on the recovery mission for a Swiss Air crash off the shores of Nova Scotia in 1998, and the loss of his son to suicide. His talk was heart wrenching, but showed clearly that we must reach out for help when necessary.
Tom Hickey spoke on his struggle with social anxiety and how hard it is to hold onto a job, of feeling over whelmed doing some small tasks and quitting a job because he had a review coming up and had to learn how to us a scanner. With help, and not having the fear to ask for that help, he felt that maybe he could have stayed employed.
Mitch Roy spoke of his many diagnoses, and of being transgender and the strain it put on his even the simplest things, things others take for granted like what bathroom to use. He feels there should be a non-binary washroom for transgender people so they can use the facility without fear of being called out or accosted.
Stephen Douris spoke on how we must stand up for those who can not speak up for themselves, and how the job as a truck driver can be lonely and isolating work. He also talked about living with depression and anxiety, and how a co-employee Pierre’s suicide set him on his path of trying to remove the stigma of Mental Health and help others who struggle, the very help Pierre, in the end, did not get.
Angele D’Alessio (far left) and Chantal Tessier (far right) from the CMHA Champlain East were present. Chantal talked briefly about services provided through the CMHA, while Angele informed the audience about the latest stats from Stats Canada which are trending upwards as far as the incidences of suicide and mental illness are concerned.
This event was part 1 of 3 of employer mental health in the Workplace sessions and was sponsored by Cornwall Business Enterprise Center, the Eastern Ontario Training Board, and Job Zone d’emploi.
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