IHSA partners with Mental Health Commission of Canada to launch training for the trades

The Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA) is partnering with Opening Minds, a division of the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) to pilot a new training program designed to reduce stigma surrounding mental illness in trade-sector workplaces.

The courses have been adapted for trades sectors from Opening Minds' The Working Mind, an evidence-based learning program developed to help Ontario workplaces better understand mental illness and foster psychologically healthy and safe working environments.

"The Working Mind for the Trades was customized specifically for trades workers based on consultation with the construction, transportation, and electrical utilities industries," says Michelle Roberts, Vice President of Stakeholder and Public Relations at IHSA. "We know that mental health is a growing concern in high-risk workplaces—we want this program to ensure all workplace parties can recognize mental health hazards, support workers who are experiencing mental health concerns, foster mental wellness for themselves and their peers, and understand the mental health continuum."

These courses are suitable for all workers in the sectors served by IHSA, as well as workplace leadership, including supervisors, crew leaders, union stewards or managers.

Courses will be led by a facilitator and delivered live via Zoom, using discussions, breakout activities, videos, and polls. Starting in 2025, delivery will be expanded to include in-person classroom sessions.

After completing the program, participants will be able to:

  • Understand mental health and mental illness
  • Identify and reduce stigma, discrimination, or negative attitudes toward people with mental health problems
  • Support their colleagues and other workplace parties
  • Recognize mental stressors and build resilience

Opening Minds has facilitated nearly 180,000 mental health courses with more than one million participants, and has had success helping workplaces in various industries across Canada adapt and implement The Working Mind and invest in their workforce's mental wellbeing. IHSA is thrilled to partner with MHCC to deliver this programing for tradespeople, who themselves face unique mental stressors due to the demanding and stressful nature of their work.

About IHSA

The Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA) is Ontario's trusted health and safety resource. Recognized by Ontario's labour ministry, our goal is to improve the lives of Ontario workers. We provide the resources and training that control and eliminate safety hazards in work environments involving high-risk activities.

About Opening Minds

Opening Minds (OM) is the social enterprise division of MHCC with a focus on providing training programs that seek to change Canadians' behaviours and attitudes toward people living with mental health and substance use problems and illness. Opening Mind's mission is to be the leader of evidence-based programs that promote mental health and wellness, increase resilience and eliminate stigma around the world.

The MHCC is a national registered charity that shines a light on mental health and work to improve the lives of people who experience mental health problems and illnesses.

Learn more

For more information about The Working Mind for the Trades visit:

The Working Mind For The Trades - Supervisor (Virtual Training) The Working Mind For The Trades - Worker (Virtual Training)