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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Wednesday 30 September 2015

Trudeau, Mental Health and the Public Service

Good for Trudeau (text from his letter below).

Sad reality is that a growing number of Canada's public servants don't have job stability or benefits (renewed contracts replacing permanent positions) and for those who do, the culture, accommodations and design of government work is sorely lacking.  The stress, uncertainty, low morale, unclear direction, conflict of what they're supposed to do and what partisan staff pressure them to do is taking a toll.  Presenteeism is rampant, as are prescriptions (and claims) for depression and anxiety medication.  

It's a problem the private sector is twigging on to and, in fits and spurts, taking steps to address. They have realized that saying "get over it" and punishing people with the cognitive equivalent of carpal tunnel syndrome doesn't solve the problem, it only exacerbates it.  If the bottom line dictates better employee support, so be it.

Does it not make sense for government to do the same?  Should government not be leading by example?

Were I team Trudeau, I would talk about this a lot more in the coming weeks (and to a certain Trudeau advisor: I told you this was coming!); it's an issue that impacts Canadians at all levels deeply, ties into the values Trudeau speaks to and highlights the cognitive dissonance in Harper's stance on mental health vs. occupational mental health.

Sad part is, this could and should have been a win for Harper.  That's what happens when you're functionally fixed and unable to adapt though.

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