In the fourth episode, we discuss the upcoming report from the Douglas Coldwell Layton Foundation on “Mental Health and Wellness in the Workplace” with project leads Jon Weier and Tom Parkin.

In speaking to the necessity of this report, Jon Weier says “..this is really a systemic issue. Mental health impacts or mental distress is something that affects many, many workers. We specifically are looking at how this is related to the workplace and to the idea of work. But of course, as you and others have pointed out on this podcast and in other places, mental health distress over a number of issues is really becoming almost a defining factor of our age. And I think as a result, this kind of research and this kind of examination and understanding of the impacts of our society more broadly on mental health is a really, really important direction to be going right now in this research.”

“It’s not just that people struggle with mental health effects because of the workplace though, the research is clearly there. But people who are not working, people who are struggling with paying the bills, people who are raised in households where they don’t have enough food. People who live in households where there’s just a lack of income. The research over and over again showed that these were neighborhoods that had higher levels of depression, anxiety, mental health distress, than in more affluent neighborhoods. So if we’re going to say, yes unions should be involved in this; the kind of unionism probably the three of us believe in, isn’t just about the union’s own members, but about a broader social agenda,” says Tom Parkin. 

About today’s guests:

Jonathan Weier is a professor in The School of Labor and The School of Liberal Arts and Sciences at George Brown College. An established historian and educator, policy professional and commentator on social and labor movements, his research focuses on voluntary organizations, trade unions, political parties and other efforts by workers, social activists, and reformers to achieve progressive political, social and economic goals. Jon has been active in the labor movement and in Left politics for over 20 years and is currently a board member and the academic advisor for the Douglas Coldwell Layton Foundation.

Tom Parkin is Principle with Impact Strategies and former Managing Director of Ontario’s Worker’s Health and Safety Center. A frequent political columnist and media commentator, Tom has contributed to print, radio and television news media across Canada.

The report on Mental Health and Wellness in the Workplace will be released by the Douglas Coldwell Layton Foundation.

The Courage My Friends podcast is a co-production between The Tommy Douglas Institute (at George Brown College),, with the support of the Douglas Coldwell Layton Foundation. 

Transcript of this episode can be accessed at or here. 

Image: Jon Weier and Tom Parkin / Used with permission.

Music: Ang Kahora. Lynne, Bjorn. Rights Purchased

Intro Voices: Chandra Budhu (General Intro./Outro.), Nayocka Allen, Nicolas Echeverri Parra, Doreen Kajumba (Street Voices); Bob Luker (Tommy Douglas quote)

Courage My Friends Podcast Organizing Committee: Resh Budhu, Breanne Doyle (for, Chandra Budhu and Ashley Booth

Produced by: Resh Budhu, Tommy Douglas Institute and Breanne Doyle,

Host: Resh Budhu

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