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.

It makes sense that someone who is being harassed or mistreated at work would be more likely to say they have poor mental health (three times more likely for men, twice as likely for women, according to the materials we’re studying this week in our ICBA Wellness learnings).

But even the act of witnessing bullying affects people negatively. “Researchers from the UK have found that even without being direct victims of bullying themselves, staff who observed harassing behaviour had decreased work-related wellbeing, including feeling more depressed.”

 This makes sense. We’ve all been in situations that made us uncomfortable or brought up feelings we had considered long-resolved. Humans, by nature, are empathetic creatures – we put ourselves into other people’s stories and consider how they feel.

Toxic workplaces are caused by toxic people; it stands to reason that respectful workplaces are therefore built by respectful people. This is a choice we all must make, every day, to look out for one another – and for our own mental health.

If you someone being mistreated, speak up, and reach out to the target.

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.