As a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers Inc., I was excited to see the Packers sign free agent safety Jonathan Owens last week.
It was a big week for Owens, who got married three days before signing the contract, to U.S. gymnastics legend, seven-time Olympic medalist, and mental health advocate Simone Biles.
Biles has been very outspoken about her own mental health and the need for people to talk more openly about the issues they face. “We’re not just entertainment, we’re humans and there are things going on behind the scenes that we’re also trying to juggle,” she said after the Tokyo Olympics. “Mental health, I think it should be talked about a lot, especially with athletes because I know some of us are going through the same things and we are always told to push through it but we’re all a little bit older now, we could kind of speak for ourselves.”
You wouldn’t think a 4’8 Olympic gymnast would share much in common with the close to half million construction professionals working in Alberta and BC today – but she does. As we have learned from ICBA Wellness ambassador Corey Hirsch, sports and construction are fields where people have long been encouraged to suffer silently, due to the stigma around mental health.
Biles, Hirsch and ICBA aim to break that attitude – and we’re working on it, one construction site at a time.
Each week, ICBA’s Jordan Bateman reflects on what we’ve learned as we participate in ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program. ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program is helping more than 100 companies and more than 10,000 construction professionals better understand mental health. This program is free for all ICBA members – check out icba.ca/wellness for details.