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.

Last Friday morning in Surrey, ICBA held our first Wellness in Construction breakfast on a a six-city speaking tour with Corey Hirsch, our ICBA Wellness ambassador for 2022. (Yes, we’re following all B.C. COVID-19 protocols and rules – in Surrey, we had 65 people in a room for 200.)

Special thanks to Surerus Pipeline and Pacific Blue Cross for stepping up and co-sponsoring this tour.

In Wellness Wednesday #32, I mentioned how impressed I’ve been with Corey’ authenticity, gentle spirit and ability to get folks to open up about mental health. This breakfast showcased all those skills.

Corey had the room laughing at various points, and completely silent at others, hanging on every word of his story. His self-depreciation and honesty made it easy for listeners to connect to him; it would begin to get heavy and he would gently lighten the mood with a quick quip, usually at his own expense.

It was meaningful, but not overwhelming. Standing near him before and after the event, I watched several guests come and share their stories. He gave each of them his time and full attention, gently asking questions without being invasive and encouraging them on their own mental health journeys.


At the event, co-sponsor Pacific Blue Cross handed out a card with some worrying stats, including that 53% of British Columbians feel more lonely since the pandemic began, and that 50% believe it is difficult to access mental health statistics:

It doesn’t have to be that way – there are people who want to help. Friends, family, benefit plans’ employee assistance programs, medical professionals, and others. Please, please don’t think you’re alone in this.

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.