“Working on my Well-Being”: Workplace suicide prevention effort

Saint-Quentin, Friday, May 10, 2024 – Health workers, university researchers, business leaders, volunteer residents, elected officials and representatives of the Mental Health Commission of Canada took part in Friday’s launch of the “Working on my Well-Being” project at the Palais Centre-Ville in Saint-Quentin. Developed under the auspices of the national Roots of Hope initiative, this community model aims to support organizations in providing early support to people going through difficult times or needing help in the workplace and in referring them to resources tailored to their needs. This initiative, based on a collaborative approach, can take the form of workshops, training, awareness-raising activities or resource sharing.

Nathalie Mazerolle, conseillère principale, Services aux adultes, ministère de la Santé, Nathalie Savoie, présidente du Conseil d'administration, Groupe Savoie Inc, Céline Fortin, coordonnatrice de la prévention de la santé mentale et traitement des dépendances, Carine Michaud, gestionnaire des centres de santé mentale communautaire de Kedgwick et de Grand-Sault, Nadya Savoie, directrice régionale, Services d’alimentation et de nutrition et Services de l’environnement, Réseau de santé Vitalité, Gaëtane Hachey, directrice régionale des Services de santé mentale et de traitement des dépendances, Réseau de santé Vitalité, Mindy Duguay, coordonnatrice de la prévention de la santé mentale et traitement de la zone Acadie-Bathurst, 

The objective is to make human resources managers and senior management aware of the importance of the active role they can play in suicide prevention and postvention, including with respect to adopting reflective and empathetic listening, providing judgement-free support, and promoting employees’ psychological health.

Action committees have been established in all zones of Vitalité Health Network. The project will be extended throughout the Network’s territory.

A number of organizations have already benefited from training workshops and discussion forums, including the Campbellton Regional Hospital, Jiffy Products N.B. Ltd. (Pokemouche), Groupe Savoie Inc. (Saint-Quentin), Imperial Manufacturing Group (Rexton and Dieppe) and AV Cell Inc. (Atholville).

“When we recognize that people are the most important thing, we also recognize that we must take very good care of them; that’s why we chose to join the project,” explained Alain Bossé, outgoing President and Chief Operating Officer of Groupe Savoie Inc., the first company to join the movement. 

Dr. Jalila Jbilou, professor at the Université de Moncton and researcher at the Centre de formation médicale du Nouveau-Brunswick, has written a guide for employers.  This guide contains tips and tools to help employers create a psychologically healthy and non-judgmental work environment, implement strategies to reduce suicide risk in the workplace, identify at an early stage which employees are at risk or going through difficult personal situations and, above all, listen to those employees and guide them to available help resources. “It's only by working together tirelessly that we can bring hope to our communities and prevent deaths by suicide. Suicide prevention is a collective effort," reminds Dr. Jbilou.

“We pay special attention to men who may be experiencing stigma,” explained Céline Fortin, Community Prevention Coordinator for Mental Health and Addiction Services of Vitalité Health Network. “It’s essential to encourage dialogue and to foster a benevolent work environment that supports good mental health and acts as a safety net. The issue of suicide must be approached respectfully, free of fears or taboos.”
The initiative is part of the action plan of the Resilience Steering Committees in the Northwest Region and on the Acadian Peninsula and has received $17,300 in financial support from the Community Capacity and Resilience Branch of the New Brunswick Department of Justice and Public Safety.

Over the past five years, the Department of Health has provided approximately $48,000 toward research work at the Université de Moncton to support the Roots of Hope initiative. The province has also funded the hiring of eight prevention coordinators in the province’s health regions. Part of their work involves supporting the Roots of Hope initiative, which has expanded across the province.

“We all know that it is our close connections in the community that sustain us in times of need. It’s wonderful to see that the support fostered by this initiative, which began in northwestern New Brunswick, is now spreading to help people in other parts of our province,” said Health Minister Bruce Fitch. “The Government of New Brunswick is pleased to have been a partner in the Roots of Hope initiative as we all work together to help those around us when they need it most.”

To contact the team and join the movement, email: info [at] monbetravaille.com.

To visit the website: monbetravaille.com/en.

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For more information:
media [at] vitalitenb.ca