Mental health is starting to get the attention it deserves, and Teamsters Local 362 has been honoured to be a part of that.
Over the past few years we have launched two mental health campaigns that have created awareness and fought against stigma – Make it Mandatory and You Are Not Alone.
This month we were honoured to have our Vice-President Jordan Madarash and Teamsters Local 362 receive recognition from the Lieutenant Governor’s Circle on Mental Health and Addiction True Awards.
Jordan was nominated by Dianne and Mick Ilesic, the parents of Brian Ilesic who was tragically killed on June 15, 2012. On this day, Travis Baumgartner fatally shot three of his coworkers including Ilesic, Eddie Rejano, and Michelle Shegelski, a fourth, Matthew Schuman, was rushed to hospital with a gunshot wound to the head.
“Jordan came personally to meet us and offer condolences, and offer information that would be helpful,” said Dianne, adding that he was there to support them right from the beginning.
Rob Harkness and his sister also nominated Jordan. Rob is a member of Teamsters and had worked with those involved. After the incident Rob was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and faced scrutiny at work when he courageously shared his struggles. He still doesn’t regret talking about it and said he never will.
Both Rob and the Ilesic’s took part in our mental health initiative by Teamsters 362 called Make it Mandatory, which encouraged people to demand mental health support become mandatory in the workplace.
The Lieutenant Governor’s Circle on Mental Health and Addiction is a charitable organization dedicated to helping reduce stigma related to mental illness and addiction. Each year they put on the True Awards to ‘offer encouragement and recognition to Albertans who have shown commitment, passion and ingenuity in improving the lives of those living with mental illness and/or addiction.’
Although Jordan and Teamsters 362 did not receive the final award, we were honoured to receive a certificate of nomination. We hope to continue with our work to bring awareness to mental health issues.