Last year the Behind the Scenes Mental Health Initiative conducted a survey that revealed that bullying, harassment and intimidation are a common experience in our industry. Respondents told us, “Emotional abuse is part of the culture,” and “Harassment, discrimination, and retaliation are rampant.”
The Mental Health Steering Committee has launched a campaign (btshelp.org/stopbullying) to help workers and employers alike understand the signs and consequences of this behavior. Our aim is to raise awareness and encourage all who experience or witness bullying, harassment or intimidation to speak up.
The resources provided include a set of posters to raise awareness of words, actions and behaviors that constitute bullying, harassment or intimidation; information to empower individuals to Be Informed, Be Aware, Show Support, and Take Action; and a sample policy and procedures to identify, investigate and resolve instances of bullying, harassment or intimidation and to provide support to those who experience these behaviors.
One survey respondent wrote, “My workplaces are decades behind in helping people with emotional wellness. That starts with the aggressive behavior, belittling behavior, yelling, throwing objects, etc. that I see on the jobsite constantly. Most folks feel that they have to just have a tough skin and take the abusive behavior in stride. That's a perfect breeding place for all kinds of mental and emotional illness.”
Together we can help curb this behavior in the workplace. We can improve both psychological and physical safety and encourage a more respectful and supportive workplace.
Behind the Scenes has collaborated with other concerned organizations and individuals to create the Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative. A series of tools and resources has been developed to not only help you but also assist you in helping your colleagues, friends and family. Find links to additional tools and resources and information about the initiative at btshelp.org/mentalhealth.