Each week, ICBA’s Jordan Bateman reflects on what we’ve learned as we participate in ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program. This program is free for all ICBA members – check out icba.ca/wellness for details.

For a kid who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s, as I did, the suicide of Robin Williams was almost unfathomable. How could someone who brought us such great joy – as the Genie in Aladdin, as Mrs. Doubtfire, as Peter Pan in Hook, as Patch Adams, etc. – be suffering from such sadness?

And yet he did. And he took his own life. Addiction, pain management, depression, pressure: it all caught up with him.

In this week’s teaching, we learn about high functioning depression, and how some people can continue for a long time without seeking help. They look okay – until they’re not. “The challenge is, that when they burnout and/or an event triggers a collapse, it takes a long time for these individuals to recover – they really CRASH.”

This is why we need to keep an eye out for one another. It’s almost invisible, but there are a few signs to watch out for, including: they might be intelligent, they might be perfectionists, they may have a family history of depression, it gradually builds up over time, and they may not engage in normal hobbies or activities.

That’s tough to spot, but it’s a start.

ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program is helping more than 50 companies, and thousands of construction professionals, better understand mental health. The program is free for ICBA members — see icba.ca/wellness.