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UFCW 1006A stewards are stepping up to become mental health advocates with our local union. The training is now open to all members of 1006A.

“The issue of mental health often gets neglected, and we should pay more attention because our mental health affects us in so many ways,” said Michelle Wilson, a steward from Frulact in Kingston. “Mental health is just as important as learning CPR and first aid. All three can save lives.”

Wilson was among many UFCW 1006A stewards, who took part in UFCW Canada’s Mental Health Advocate program through webCampus, a free online training portal for UFCW members and their families.

The program includes three courses recognized by the Canadian Mental Health Association, which provides information on how to effectively offer mental health support and examines the mental health disconnect in our society and at work.

“I found the program very informative and I would recommend it to other stewards,” said Wilson. “I think it would help dealing with different situations. At times, by just listening, we may find out that it is not a work problem but a cry for help or someone needing to talk.”

Workplace issues can often have a direct impact on mental health and that is why this program is vital.

“I’m pleased to congratulate our stewards who have completed the program,” said President Wayne Hanley. “Our incredible steward base continues to make a profound impact on the lives of our membership – we commend your hard work and commitment in gaining skills and knowledge through this program to support our members’ mental health and build healthier workplaces.”

Valrie Francis, who is a steward at an RCSS, also completed the training.

“I believe this should be a core program for everyone to take,” said Francis. “Mental health is immensely important to understand, and the training helped with that. The details, videos and information in the course challenges the stigma of mental health while providing awareness and resources.”

1006A encourages our stewards to participate in the Mental Health Advocate program. The program is available 24/7 and shouldn’t take more then a few months to complete, based on participants’ schedules.

“The most important takeaway for me is how to be supportive and the approaches of how to offer support to someone,” said Francis.

UFCW 1006A was proud to provide this opportunity to our stewards to improve their skills and knowledge. And we are proud of the fact that we can now offer it to any 1006A member who may be interested.

Our commitment to supporting our members’ mental health is ongoing and essential to building healthier workplaces for all. As a member of 1006A if you are interested in participating in the online program or want more information, contact 1006A’s Rick Young at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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