“Can we talk?”

– A mental health discussion with Movember

View the presentation delivered to PSAC’s Health and Safety Council
by Mitch Hermansen, Senior Development Manager, Movember Foundation

Over the past couple months, we’ve all had a friend who we’ve been worried about. It might be someone who has lost their job in recent weeks or the friend who’s struggling with the boredom and isolation of social distancing.

We also know that what we should do is pick up the phone and give him a call to find out how they are doing.

But in the midst of a crisis, when we’ve got our own struggles to contend with or we fear saying the wrong thing, it’s easy to keep putting off that tricky call.

“According to a new report Bridging The Distance, eight out of 10 men say they do find it helpful when someone asks if they’re having a tough time.”

That’s why PSAC has teamed up with the men’s health charity, Movember, to talk mental health and the importance of social connection – specifically, how can we empower employees to start conversations and support those in our lives who we think might be struggling?

And with rising unemployment rates in Alberta (15.5%), driven by the one-two punch of COVID-19 and weak oil prices, it’s clear that this conversation is more important now than ever before.

Mitch Hermansen, from Movember, took the PSAC health and safety council through a detailed presentation around the challenges men typically face with their mental health (4 out 5 suicides in Alberta are by men), but also highlighted that these statistics are preventable and we all can have a role to play in supporting the mental health of those close to us – and it can be as simple as reaching out and starting conversation.

That’s why Movember created Movember Conversations, a free interactive digital tool that offers practical guidance on how to start a difficult conversation

Check out the tool here >>>  https://ca.movember.com/conversations

Guided by an international team of mental health experts, Movember Conversations uses simulated conversations to explore different scenarios. It demonstrates that changing the way you respond can lead to deeper conversations. You can’t fix someone else’s problems but you can be a listening ear and that can make all the difference.

“We hope this tool will give everyone the practical skills and confidence to be able to support someone who might be struggling. Because we know that talking saves lives.”