2012 Prairies Health & Safety Conference kicks off

About 50 PSAC members from across the Prairie Region will be gathering in Edmonton this weekend for the Prairies Health & Safety Conference.

In response to the growing number of concerns brought forward by members and in response to member supported resolutions from the Prairie Region Convention, the overall theme will deal with Mental Health in the Workplace, with particular attention to the impact and prevention of bullying.

The Conference will open at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday with greetings from an Aboriginal Elder, followed by a keynote presentation by Sjors Reijers, Manager for Program Promotions at Mental Health Commission of Canada. Reijers will present on the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) program, which aims to improve mental health literacy, and provide the skills and knowledge to help people better manage potential or developing mental health problems in themselves, a family member, a friend or a colleague. 

With a background in adult education, community development, and fundraising, Sjors is focused on translating the benefits of MHFA trained workplaces into smart policy choices for employers. He seeks to ensure that MHFA is presented as an evidence-based, impactful, and appropriate addition to psychologically safe workplaces and as a valuable aspect of the mental health strategy for Canada.

Additionally, for the first time in the Prairie Region, delegates will debate on resolutions to put forward to the PSAC National Health & Safety Conference being held April 11-14, 2013 in Montreal, Quebec. Issues put forward in resolutions include duty to accommodate, Employee Assistance Program (EAP), and licensing and training for employees required to operate a vehicle.

Over the two-day conference, members will work together in a variety of formats to provide tools, resources and confidence in how to deal with health and safety issues and the negative impacts that have perpetrated so many of our workplaces.