James Chai | CUPE Communications

Stress was the major focus in the health and safety forum at the CUPE National Convention in Vancouver.

CUPE members heard from two experts, exchanged ideas, and received tools and advice for a better understanding of the causes of stress, its effects on our health, and ways to prevent it.

Julie Kaisla, from the Canadian Mental Health Association’s British Colombia Division talked about the different psychological wounds caused by excessively heavy workloads, as well as some general strategies for reducing the effects of stress.

Participants also heard from Cassie Loveless, Paramedic/Emergency Medical Dispatcher at BC Ambulance Service, and member of CUPE 873. Loveless told members about her personal experience with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the ways that she deals with this “silent” illness. She explained various strategies to prevent the escalation of psychological injury.

CUPE health and safety advisors described the tools and resources available to members to help them understand and prevent psychological injury. A new violence prevention kit produced by the CUPE Health and Safety Branch was also launched at the forum, along with the new Health and Safety learning series. 

The forum ended with a Q & A and a round table on stress prevention.