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.

This month, ICBA Wellness is focused on breaking through mental health stigma – a topic so important, we do it twice during the program.

The good people over at Here to Help BC note that “over half of people living with mental illnesses said that they were embarrassed about their health problems, and over half felt like they had experienced discrimination.”

Another study found that “just under half of Canadians thought that a mental illness was just an excuse for poor behaviour.”

This isn’t good enough, and as a society we should resolve to break through this stigma in 2022.

But how? Our ICBA Wellness reading this week encourages us to: “Start with yourself. Be thoughtful about your own choice of words. Use accurate and sensitive words when talking about people with mental health conditions, and be open to learning about those conditions.”

Over the past six months, I’ve learned a lot about mental health—and some of my own incorrect assumptions. And I’m looking forward to learning even more over the next six.

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.