Covid-19 todaY, tomorroW and into 2021: a panel discussion With epidemiologists - Saskatchewan Construction Association

 
Covid-19 todaY, tomorroW and into 2021: a panel discussion With epidemiologists - Saskatchewan Construction Association
issue 2—summer 2020

                                          building on: perseverance & strength
                                                    in turbulent times

                                          COVID-19 TODAY,
                                          TOMORROW AND
                                          INTO 2021: A PANEL
                                          DISCUSSION WITH
                                          EPIDEMIOLOGISTS
  Publications mail agreement #40934510

                                           MAINTAINING                        THE SASKATCHEWAN
                                                            MENTAL HEALTH
                                           VIGILANCE IN                         ECONOMY DURING
                                                             RESILIENCY IN
                                          SAFETY AMIDST                      COVID-19: WHERE DO WE
                                                           TURBULENT TIMES
                                             COVID-19                            GO FROM HERE?
Covid-19 todaY, tomorroW and into 2021: a panel discussion With epidemiologists - Saskatchewan Construction Association
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Covid-19 todaY, tomorroW and into 2021: a panel discussion With epidemiologists - Saskatchewan Construction Association
In this issue of
     6      President's Message
                                                               320 Gardiner Park Court
                                                               Regina, SK S4V 1R9

     8      SCA Board of Directors                             P: 306-525-0171
                                                               E: sca@scaonline.ca
                                                               W: www.scaonline.ca

features                                                       2020 SCA Board of Directors
                                                               Miles Dyck, Chair
   10	
      COVID-19 today, tomorrow and into 2021:                  shaun cripps, vice-chair
                                                               cory richter, Past Chair
            A panel discussion with epidemiologists
                                                               brad barber
  16	Maintaining vigilance in safety amidst COVID-19          jon boutin
                                                               bryce chelsberg
  20	The Saskatchewan economy during COVID-19:                brent cherwinski
            Where do we go from here?                          duane galloway
                                                               jeff hagerty
                                                               justin hoyes
THE EXPERTS                                                    sean mcgregor
                                                               colin olfert
   24	
      You can't pour from an empty cup:                        kim sutherland
            Mental health resiliency in turbulent times
                                                               President & CEO—Mark Cooper
  26	Doing business differently:                              Director of Operations—Amanda Thick
            What construction companies should consider next
                                                               Executive Coordinator—Megan Jane

                                                               Administrative Assistant—nicholas mccafferty

                                                               SCA Editor—shayna wiwierski

                                                               © 2020 DEL Communications Inc.
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                                                               PRINTED IN CANADA 06/2020

4 SASKATCHEWAN CONSTRUCTION ASSOCIATION
Covid-19 todaY, tomorroW and into 2021: a panel discussion With epidemiologists - Saskatchewan Construction Association

      
        

     

   

  

    
             
Covid-19 todaY, tomorroW and into 2021: a panel discussion With epidemiologists - Saskatchewan Construction Association
president’s MESSAGE
                                          Mark Cooper, President & CEO,
                                          Saskatchewan Construction Association

By the time this issue hits your desk,                 Bridges Health. We also have a great             safety and the health conversations
we will have crossed the 100-day                       article from Brent Banda of the Banda            will be released online through the
mark since the beginning of the                        Marketing Group on what construction             SCA’s YouTube channel, our
economic and societal shutdown due                     companies should consider doing next             social media platforms, and our
to COVID-19. We will likely be on                      in order to bolster your business amidst         COVID-19 information portal:
the verge of starting Phase 4 of the                   COVID.                                           www.covid19sk.com.
provincial government’s five-phase Re-
                                                       Finally, we have three feature articles          If you’re a regular reader of We Build,
Open Saskatchewan plan.
                                                       in this issue that I think are truly             you’ll notice that this issue is shorter
It is comforting to know that                          superb. We leveraged technology                  than most. That’s on purpose, for a few
Saskatchewan has, to date, weathered                   to hold video interviews with local              reasons.
COVID-19 successfully from a health                    experts in the areas of health,
perspective at least. Swift and decisive               safety, and economic development.                First, early on in the pandemic we
action on the part of our governments,                 Then, we combed through those                    asked our publisher to stop selling
coupled with widespread compliance                     video interviews and turned them                 advertising for this issue. We didn’t
by citizens, enabled the spread of the                 into articles that summarize the                 want our members being asked to
virus to be contained. Now the task                    discussions. You’ll be able to hear from         advertise during such a difficult time.
before us is to re-open our society, re-               the best in the business about what we           As a result, we have to publish the
ignite our economy, and re-double our                  can expect from COVID in the coming              magazine based on the revenue raised
vigilance with respect to managing the                 months, how we need to prepare to                by the advertisements sold to that date.
spread of the virus.                                   tackle the virus, how on-site safety and         To our advertisers, I want to say thanks
                                                       our company cultures are adapting to             for investing. Your money enables us to
This issue of We Build is all about
                                                       better manage, and how the economy               continue to deliver important messages
bringing expert perspectives to you
                                                       can and will recover through our                 to the construction community across
in terms of how to build perseverance
                                                       collective efforts to continue growing           Saskatchewan, for which we are
and strength in turbulent times. In this
                                                       Saskatchewan. You won’t want to miss             extremely grateful.
issue you’ll read about some essential
                                                       these articles.
best practices for overall wellness and                                                                 The second reason the issue is shorter
mental health from our partners at                     The complete videos for both the                 is we know you are pulled in so many

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                                                                                        One Colour
Covid-19 todaY, tomorroW and into 2021: a panel discussion With epidemiologists - Saskatchewan Construction Association
different directions right now. We             about any of the infrastructure                           that in the future and will be happy to
wanted to give you the fewest and best         programs, or you’d like to know more,                     help you find answers to any of your
articles we could. I think we’ve met           please reach out to me and let me                         questions, while always working to
that goal.                                     know.                                                     make sure that government programs
                                                                                                         are structured in such a way as to
Finally, I want to chat briefly about          On the SCA’s YouTube channel you
the economic stimulus coming from                                                                        ensure your continued business
                                               can watch the replay of our virtual
governments in the form of new                                                                           success.
                                               Town Hall with provincial officials
infrastructure dollars. Last month             where they answered your questions                        As we move into the summer months,
the province announced an historic
                                               about their investment plan. We will                      I want to wish you well. Take care and
level of stimulus funding designed
                                               be holding more conversations like                        stay safe.
to jumpstart a wide array of public
infrastructure projects across all
categories of construction. This
included considerable money for
municipal projects. While funds for
most of these projects haven’t begun
to flow yet, they will soon. We will
see many new design projects out for
competition within weeks, and the
same for construction projects, with
a particular focus on maintenance
and renovation work that can come to
market quickly.

As part of the province’s commitment
to stimulus, a big focus of their
investment is on improving the flow
of dollars to local companies, ensuring
that local workers do the work. The
SCA is working with the provincial
government to refine the mechanisms
they can use to make it easier for
local companies to access information,
improve their performance during
competitions, and win more work.
I would say that our members can
expect more news on this theme soon.

We also expect the federal government
to announce more funding for
stimulus-focused infrastructure,
perhaps through a new stream of the
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                                                                                                       building on: perseverance
                                                                                                                     SK S4P 3C2  & strength in turbulent times 7
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Covid-19 todaY, tomorroW and into 2021: a panel discussion With epidemiologists - Saskatchewan Construction Association
2020 BOARD OF DIRECTORS

                                          SHAUN CRIPPS                      MILES DYCK                    CORY RICHTER
                                           Vice-Chair                         Chair                        Past Chair

                    BRAD BARBER                                                                                            JON BOUTIN

                 BRYCE CHELSBERG                         BRENT CHERWINSKI                DUANE GALLOWAY                   JEFF HAGERTY

                    JUSTIN HOYES                          SEAN McGREGOR                   COLIN OLFERT                   KIM SUTHERLAND

8 SASKATCHEWAN CONSTRUCTION ASSOCIATION
Covid-19 todaY, tomorroW and into 2021: a panel discussion With epidemiologists - Saskatchewan Construction Association
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                                                                              We Build – summer 2020 – building on: perseverance & strength in turbulent times 9
Covid-19 todaY, tomorroW and into 2021: a panel discussion With epidemiologists - Saskatchewan Construction Association
Feature
                                                                                                                  Want to access the full
COVID-19 Today, Tomorrow and into 2021:                                                                            conversation? Visit
                                                                                                                    covid19sk.com

A Panel Discussion                                                                                              to download the audio file
                                                                                                                    or watch the video!

with Epidemiologists                                                                                                  By Brook Thalgott

Dr. Cory (Cordell) Neudorf,                Dr. Bonnie Janzen, Associate       Dr. Bruce Reeder, Emeritus          Dr. Anne Leis, Professor and
Professor, Community Health                Professor, Community Health        Professor, Community Health         Department Head, Community
& Epidemiology, University                 & Epidemiology, University         & Epidemiology, University          Health & Epidemiology,
of Saskatchewan’s College of               of Saskatchewan’s College of       of Saskatchewan’s College of        University of Saskatchewan’s
Medicine.                                  Medicine.                          Medicine.                           College of Medicine.

                                                     have been other countries that were           influenza. So, for these reasons, it's
                                                     hit harder, faster. We in Saskatchewan        worse than the seasonal flu.”
                                                     were late to the game in seeing cases
                                                     and Canada was even behind other              Peaks and valleys
We Build caught up with experts
                                                     countries. We have benefited from             While Saskatchewan has avoided a
from the department of Community
                                                     being able to watch what others have          major onslaught of cases, Cooper asks
Health & Epidemiology, University of
                                                     done, how the virus has behaved in            the panel where we are in the curve,
Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine
                                                     other countries, and therefore can            and what we can expect going forward.
to talk about COVID-19 and its
                                                     take our cues from that. What other
implications on the health of our                                                                  “Globally, the spread of the virus is
                                                     countries have shown us is how many
province. We spoke to Dr. Anne Leis,                                                               quite different from place to place right
                                                     people can get it, how quickly, how it's
Professor and Department Head; Dr.                                                                 now—just because of the nature of how
                                                     spread, and how quickly the hospitals
Cory (Cordell) Neudorf, Professor; Dr.                                                             it gets into different populations. We're
                                                     can get overwhelmed if it's left
Bonnie Janzen, Associate Professor;                                                                seeing it at different stages in different
                                                     unchecked, completely overrunning
and Dr. Bruce Reeder, Emeritus                                                                     countries,” says Dr. Neudorf. “Once it
                                                     a hospital and causing many, many
Professor. SCA President and CEO                                                                   gets a hold in an area, it tends to take
                                                     deaths and a lot of severe sickness.”
Mark Cooper moderated the discussion.                                                              off very quickly. By changing our
                                                     Dr. Reeder also points out the                behaviour [we] can slow that spread
Cooper begins by asking about
                                                     comparisons being made between                very quickly as well.”
Saskatchewan’s relatively low rate of
                                                     influenza and COVID-19. “It tends to
community spread and lack of major                                                                 Every pandemic has multiple waves,
                                                     spread more quickly than influenza.
outbreaks and why we should take                                                                   and Dr. Neudorf sees the COVID-19
                                                     It's considerably more deadly—that is,
COVID-19 as a serious threat.                                                                      pandemic as no different. He notes that
                                                     it has about 10 times the case fatality
                                                                                                   the length of waves and troughs are
“All you have to do is look around the               rate. It appears to spread a considerable
                                                                                                   yet to be determined.
world to see why we need to take this                amount before symptoms develop.
seriously,” says Dr. Neudorf. “There                 And, that is not so prominent with the        “If we can have a reasonable response

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to the gradual reopening, close                  will end up right back to where we          vaccinating those more susceptible first
monitoring for new infections, and               were in March in no time at all. The        is a good course of action. Otherwise,
contact trace very aggressively, we can          key is balance—where the public and         Reeder notes, we would have to accept
make that trough between the waves               institutions understand what can be         ongoing disease until we reach a level
very long,” says Dr. Neudorf. “On                resumed and what safety measures            of herd immunity.
the other hand, if behaviour relaxes             need to be maintained so that when
                                                                                             Dr. Neudorf sees some behaviour
too quickly while there's still virus            the second wave comes, we can keep it
                                                                                             changes becoming permanent. “There
circulating in the community, that               small like we did the first time.
                                                                                             are some things that we may stop and
second wave can come just weeks after
                                                                                             go back… to normal and other things
the first wave.”                                 How much longer?
                                                                                             that may need to stay. And that does
                                                 Cooper asks how long we can expect          not just apply to the social distancing
The province is dependent on the
                                                 to modify our behaviours, especially as     and handwashing,” says Dr. Neudorf.
public to do their part to spread out
                                                 cases decline. “The proper answer is we     Beyond handwashing, governments
the waves and avoid major peaks. “All
                                                 don't know,” says Dr. Reeder. He sees       and businesses have made policy
of these changes we've made to social
                                                 the next six months, and the second         changes that may last. “We've seen
distancing, reducing meeting in groups,
                                                 wave will tell the story. He notes that     changes to employment insurance
hand washing and mask wearing…
                                                 colleagues in B.C. and at the University    and other economic emergency aid,
these things have got us to where we
                                                 of Toronto have done modelling that         the need for paid sick leave for more
are now, which are very low levels.”
                                                 indicate that if we went to a level of 60   types of employees, clear criteria for
However, this can lead to a false sense          per cent of our normal social contact,      what types of job safety is needed,
of security. Dr. Neudorf warns that              we’d see a blunt, low return in six to      reduced crowding, changes to work
if we go back to normal now with a               eight months. Keeping lower social          hours, separate hours for shopping
small amount of virus circulating, we            contact until a vaccine is available and    for vulnerable people, and curbside

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Feature

pickup and delivery. A lot of these          The panel also discusses how things                  needs to recognize that that's a good
responses we've seen I expect are going      can change as new information                        thing.”
to gain traction and perhaps need to be      becomes available.
maintained into the future.”                                                                      The jab
                                             “As we discover more about the virus
                                                                                                  Cooper moves onto the inevitable
Fake news                                    and its transmission and what we
                                                                                                  question—a vaccine. Dr. Neudorf
                                             need to do, our recommendations
Cooper brings up misinformation                                                                   notes that work has been happening
                                             change. I think the public is not so
being shared, and how we get the right                                                            on Coronavirus vaccines since 2003,
                                             accustomed to that,” says Dr. Reeder.
information to people.                                                                            so researchers are not starting from
                                             “But, as we understand from the
                                                                                                  zero. Early studies show that 60 to 80
“We have to combat this                      global experience, understand the
                                                                                                  per cent immunity will be required to
misinformation and provide the right         virus and its transmission better, then
                                                                                                  protect the population. Also, because
information from trusted sources,”           recommendations change.”                             Saskatchewan has had such a low
says Dr. Leis, adding that she sees how
                                             Politicians, scientists, and the health              infection rate, “we'll need a high degree
difficult it can be for the public to know
                                             community need to be transparent                     of immunization coverage with a very
where to get the best information.
                                             about what is known and not known.                   effective vaccine to really protect the
“We’re working with the Saskatchewan
                                                                                                  whole population.”
Health Authority, sifting through the        Dr. Reeder points out the change of
best information… helping them make          opinion regarding masks from Dr.                     Dr. Neudorf says the typical vaccine
decisions… at the university level or        Theresa Tam. “One of the premiers                    development can take five to 10 years.
at the government level to know how          chastised her for changing over the                  However, the H1N1 vaccine took
to proceed with, for example, opening        course of two months. But, she and                   less than a year, and Neudorf sees
up businesses and still containing the       others like her need to change when                  nine to 12 months for initial doses
virus.”                                      the evidence changes and the public                  for a COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Reeder

                                                                               We Build – summer 2020 – building on: perseverance & strength in turbulent times 13
Feature

"Saskatchewan,                                                   says there are about 30 promising
                                                                  candidates in development and four to
                                                                                                                            Let’s get moving
 I think, has done quite                                          five viable vaccines are likely.
                                                                                                                            Cooper asks the panel about opening
                                                                                                                            Saskatchewan, and whether we’re on

 a good job comparing                                             “The more vaccine candidates, the                         the right track.
                                                                  more companies and countries
 it to other provinces."                                          producing, the better. You would want
                                                                                                                            “Saskatchewan has had, [what] was
                                                                                                                            referred to a less severe outbreak to
                                                                  vaccines of comparable quality and
                                                                                                                            this point. It has had small flareups and
                                                                  efficacy, but having many groups work
                                                                                                                            learned from those flareups,” says Dr.
                                                                  on it is a good thing,” says Dr. Reeder.
                                                                                                                            Reeder. As well, we have not had major
                                                                                                                            outbreaks in long-term care, and many
                                                                                                                            measures to protect long-term care
                                                                                                                            residents are in place. “Saskatchewan,
                                                                                                                            I think, has done quite a good job
                                                                                                                            comparing it to other provinces. As we
                                                                                                                            go forward though, we do need to open
                                                                                                                            up.”
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                                                                                                                            However, caution is needed. The public
                                                                                                                            needs to follow the guidelines set forth.
                                                                                                                            As well, government has staged the
                                                                                                                            opening with an eye on metrics that
                                                                 • Highways, Interchanges & Roads                           allow for early warnings.
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                                                                                                                            action can be taken,” says Dr. Reeder.

                                                                                                                            Dr. Leis says time will tell. “It won't
                                                                                                                            be like before; we are not going back.
                                                                                                                            I think we have learned things that
                                                                                                                            are positive… using more online tools,
                                                                                                                            paying attention to social distancing,
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14 SASKATCHEWAN CONSTRUCTION ASSOCIATION
Feature

Great expectations                           Dr. Leis also sees how people have                   political party is out there, this is a good
                                             learned about themselves. “This kind                 reminder of the value of government…
Finally, Cooper asks the panel what
                                             of a pandemic forced the whole society               and to make sure that we're set up in a
we can expect into 2021, what can we
                                             to pause,” says Dr. Leis. “We had time to            way that invests in the strength of our
prepare for, and what lessons have           ‘separate together.’ We can press pause              social programs, our health programs,
been learned.                                and say that we don't have to be that                prevention and preparedness, and the
“The first thing is staying vigilant. It's   busy, we don't have to travel, we don't              wellness of our communities.”
                                             have to be all stressed and we can just
easy to become complacent, especially
                                             rediscover ourselves, our friends, our               Dr. Janzen ends the panel with some
during this time when we've had the
                                             family, and so on.”                                  poignant final thoughts about how we
success of flattening that curve and
                                                                                                  see the people around us that we may
keeping the virus at low levels in our       Dr. Neudorf notes how we’re learning
                                                                                                  take for granted. “I think one of the
province,” says Dr. Neudorf. “What we        that we’re responsible for ourselves
                                                                                                  positive things that I've seen is greater
want to avoid is a double hit of severe      and our communities. “Invest in
                                                                                                  awareness of people at the lower rungs
restrictions.”                               prevention and preparedness to invest
                                                                                                  of the socioeconomic ladder who
                                             in our community's health and in our
Dr. Janzen agrees. “Have that                social programs because those… things                are out there working. There really
community mindedness and really              have enabled us to weather this,” says               does seem to be more awareness of
think what you do and how it affects         Dr. Neudorf. “There are some really                  that group and the importance of the
others,” she says. “Keeping that in          good lessons learned on how quickly                  work that those people do, and also
the forefront, always thinking about         government can mobilize and do things                the awareness of how people have
community health, as well as your            to help us as citizens to weather these              struggled economically during this
individual health.”                          types of crises. And regardless of what              time.”

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                                                                               We Build – summer 2020 – building on: perseverance & strength in turbulent times 15
Feature
                                                                                                                       Want to access the full

Maintaining Vigilance in                                                                                                conversation? Visit
                                                                                                                          covid19sk.com

Safety amidst COVID-19
                                                                                                                      to download the audio file
                                                                                                                          or watch the video!

By Megan Jane, Executive Coordinator, Saskatchewan Construction Association

                                                                                                         In mid-May, we sat down with
                                                                                                         construction safety experts to talk
                                                                                                         about maintaining vigilance during
                                                                                                         COVID-19, and how to navigate the
                                                                                                         waters today and tomorrow.

                                                                                                         The on-site impacts of COVID-19
                                                                                                         bring new challenges
                                                                                                         While it’s true that construction
                                                                                                         professionals are well versed in
Although they had a lot                                According to SCSA’s
of safety procedures in                                Advisory Services Manager,                        following carefully tailored procedures
place, Dana Paidel,                                    Loy Levesque, very few                            for site safety work, no one was fully
President at ICON Construction,                        small builders had any
says that they had nothing for a pandemic.             sort of pandemic response                         prepared for a world-wide pandemic.
                                                       plan in place, and even the larger companies
                                                       were very reactive in the beginning.              “We had all these safety procedures
                                                                                                         in place; for fire, earthquakes,
                                                                                                         even tornadoes…but nothing for a
                                                                                                         pandemic!” says Dana Paidel, President
                                                                                                         at ICON Construction.

                                                                                                         Paidel wasn’t alone. According to
                                                                                                         SCSA’s Advisory Services Manager,
                                                                                                         Loy Levesque, very few small builders
                                                                                                         had any sort of pandemic response
                                                                                                         plan in place, and even the larger
                                                                                                         companies were very reactive in the
Keith Bird, Internal Operations Manager at             Ryan Smotra, regional safety manager for          beginning.
RNF Ventures in Prince Albert, says that               Graham Construction in Regina, says that how
COVID has brought a new level of awareness             they schedule work has changed in a big way.      Understandably, this generated a lot
to safety.                                             The new phasing of staggered shifts has had a
                                                       massive impact on project management.             of uncertainty for workers, and not
                                                                                                         just in construction. Ray Anthony,
                                                                                                         Executive Director with Occupational
                                                                                                         Health & Safety – Saskatchewan, states
                                                                                                         “in the last month alone we’ve seen
                                     Ray Anthony, Executive Director with Occupational Health &          [many] refusals to come into work”
                                     Safety – Saskatchewan, states that “in the last month alone we’ve   across all business in Saskatchewan.
                                     seen [many] refusals to come into work” across all business in
                                     Saskatchewan.
                                                                                                         However, construction companies are
                                                                                                         made of tougher stuff, and despite
                                                                                                         these unknowns, workers were
                                                                                                         quick to embrace enhanced safety
                                                                                                         procedures. “Our guys didn’t balk at

16 SASKATCHEWAN CONSTRUCTION ASSOCIATION
Feature

it,” says Keith Bird, Internal Operations Manager at RNF         Maintaining a sense of comradery during a
Ventures in Prince Albert. “COVID has brought a new level of     pandemic is a new feat
awareness to safety.”
                                                                 Lunches and coffee breaks have always been a relaxed place
From new and improved PPE, handwashing stations, daily           to build comradery amongst teams, but now those need to be
pre-screening, and separated work zones – seemingly              staggered to ensure physical distancing.
overnight construction companies have pivoted operations.
                                                                 “Our guys miss that,” Bird says. “No one wants to feel lonely
Ryan Smotra, Regional Safety Manager for Graham
                                                                 at work.”
Construction in Regina, talks about the number of people on
site now being under strict control. “How we schedule work       Levesque recommends allowing some flexibility in the work
has changed in a big way. The new phasing of staggered           schedule to maintain productivity. In team meetings, ask not
shifts has had a massive impact on project management.”          only how work is going, but how is the family doing? “The
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, Smotra points out, as more   biggest challenge has been accomplishing the same level of
time spent in the planning stages has presented opportunities    work that you would in the office, at home. If people need to
for efficiencies.                                                work in the evenings due to being busy with the kids during
Getting information from the federal and provincial health       the day, I’m fine with that.”
bodies isn’t the problem, keeping on top of it can be.           Paidel recommends calling anyone working from home for a
“Every morning starts with toolbox talks and temperature         one-on-one check in.
checks,” Paidel explains. Within days, construction companies    Bird has found that sending out messages that convey a
had plans up and running on sites that ensured the safety of     sense of hope go a long way in shining a light at the end of
their workers and the community they serve.                      the tunnel.
Another challenge is the lack of social interaction. Anthony     “We’re making touch points with more employees
shared that while his staff working in northern communities      more often,” says Bird, who adds that he has shared his
are used to working independently, it can be lonely work.        associations e-newsletters containing valuable information
“Our regular Monday meetings now happen via Zoom, and            on tax changes, financial supports, and industry updates. “It’s
you can see the lack of social interaction affecting people,”    solicited some really heartwarming feedback in return about
says Anthony.                                                    our culture.”

                                                                             We Build – summer 2020 – building on: perseverance & strength in turbulent times 17
Feature

Mental health awareness is important now more than ever            The lasting impacts of COVID-19 to be aware of
Financial pressures, downsizing of companies, job security,        Anthony predicts that social distancing will be here to stay
and so on has put a lot of pressure on employers and               for the foreseeable future, as well as strict control over
employees.                                                         where and how travel can occur. Major projects are likely
“‘How are you doing?’ has a whole new context now,” says           to be spread throughout the year, which could change the
Bird, adding that this newfound attitude has helped negate         seasonality of work.
the negative stereotype that construction is a ‘macho’ world.      Smotra points out that construction is adapting on the
“It’s okay to ask for help or say you’re not okay.”                fly. “Technology will be thrust upon construction in a big
Smotra and Anthony both reminded their staff to use their          way.” Paidel agrees. The attitude towards embracing new
company Employee Assistance Program if needed. “People             technology isn’t the only thing that’s changing. “Cleanliness
worry that they’re overreacting, or underreacting,” Smotra         and safety cultures are being strengthened,” Smotra says.
says, “but the truth is if you’ve got a spouse at home with no     “People will actually use their sick days. People are thinking
income, or suddenly you’re a CEO and a teacher to your kids,       about others and not just themselves when it comes to safety
that’s a lot of pressure to be dealing with.”                      now.”

Anthony has looked at mental health training offered               The mental health conversation is gaining more traction now
through various universities to help spot the signs of             than ever before.
stressed-out employees.
                                                                   “There’s more awareness for your fellow worker and
You can’t take care of your team if you don’t                      employees,” says Bird.
take care of yourself first                                        Finally, “people have no choice but to make room for safety
• Take time off, even if you don’t think you need it; we all      on their jobsites,” Levesque explains.
 need a break.                                                     Anthony notes that the enhanced safety protocols
• Take a nap to reboot or prepare yourself to ‘switch hats’.      implemented will likely be here to stay.
• Go outside and do something labour intensive, such as
                                                                   “At the end of the day, we should come out of this stronger
 gardening.
                                                                   than we were before,” Anthony says, noting that regulations
• Do things that bring you joy; listen to music, play with your
                                                                   around providing handwashing stations and sanitization
 pets or children.
                                                                   protocols will improve future sick leave statistics. “There are
• Focus on what you can control and try not to go down the
                                                                   advantages to overcoming these problems.”
 rabbit hole of the unknown.
• Take up a hobby, such as learning to play the guitar.           We might face COVID-19 again, but then we’ll be ready.

                                                                      
                                                                      
                                                                       
                                                                      
                                                                      
                                                                       
                                                                             
                                                                             
                 WWW.PMSIGNS.CA
18 SASKATCHEWAN CONSTRUCTION ASSOCIATION
              WWW.PMSIGNS.CA
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                                                                  5/28/14 2:21 PM

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                                                                                         We Build – summer 2020 – building on: perseverance & strength in turbulent times 19

                                           Trade Journey                                                                            Trade Journey
                                      Changing the Face of Industry                                                           Changing the Face of Industry
Feature

The Saskatchewan
Economy during COVID-19:
Where Do We Go from Here?
By Brook Thalgott

Kent Campbell, Deputy Minister,             Verona Thibault, CEO,               John Lee, CEO, Economic              Steve McLellan, CEO,
Ministry of Trade and Economic             Saskatchewan Economic                Development Regina, says             Saskatchewan Chamber
Development, notes that while              Development Alliance, sees the       that pre-pandemic he saw             of Commerce, notes the
there has been a significant               need for more preparation for        economic momentum in                 importance of embracing new
increase in unemployment from              the unexpected and is more           southern Saskatchewan and in         models and revenue streams,
February to April, and other               conservative on the economic         the Saskatoon region, based on       such as retailers moving online
economic indicators are still being        outlook.                             entrepreneurship.                    and manufacturers making new
reported, the province appears                                                                                       goods, as well as local economic
to be better off than many other                                                                                     development.
jurisdictions.

We Build had a virtual discussion                     Ministry of Trade and Economic                  to most provinces right now, I think
with some key players working in                      Development).                                   we're doing probably better than most.”
Saskatchewan economic development
to talk about how Saskatchewan                        Optimism or pessimism                           Thibault recently returned from a rural
                                                                                                      tour and had her own thoughts on the
emerges economically from the                         Cooper began by asking about the                state of the economy pre-COVID and
COVID-19 pandemic, what the                           state of the economy. Campbell notes            what the pandemic has done. She was
province’s business community is                      that while there has been a significant         glad Campbell was sounding positive,
facing, and how government and                        increase in unemployment from                   but has her own concerns.
organizations can support and grow                    February to April, and other economic
the economy going forward.                            indicators are still being reported, the        “I just feel that our resilience quotient
                                                                                                      was probably pretty low before COVID.
                                                      province appears to better off than
SCA President Mark Cooper led the                                                                     And, I'm just concerned that from an
                                                      many other jurisdictions.
discussion on May 22 with Verona                                                                      industry and community perspective,
Thibault (CEO, Saskatchewan                           “We've been significantly challenged as         we're still not ready for the next…
Economic Development Alliance),                       have economies across the country and           waves of this or waves of something
Steve McLellan (CEO, Saskatchewan                     around the world, and it's probably the         else.” She sees the need for more
Chamber of Commerce), John Lee                        most significant economic challenge             preparation for the unexpected and
(CEO, Economic Development Regina),                   we've faced since the 1930s,” says              is more conservative on the economic
and Kent Campbell (Deputy Minister,                   Campbell. “But I would say that relative        outlook.

20 SASKATCHEWAN CONSTRUCTION ASSOCIATION
Feature

Thibault flags concerns for the                     now they've been challenged even                           and support the business community.
province’s tourism and hospitality                  more.” While McLellan sounds more                          McLellan says that while it will be hard
sector, which she feels was weak before             pessimistic than he normally is, he                        on Main Street for a while, there are
the pandemic hit. She also sees a lack              does see a way to help see the province                    things the province can do to see itself
of planning, investment, and attention              through. “One of the tasks we all have                     through.
paid to local businesses, particularly              to take [on]… no matter how bad it is
                                                                                                               “We have to generate exports,” he says,
in smaller centres. And, there needs to             looking forward, is helping to increase
                                                                                                               noting the importance of embracing
be recognition that communities and                 consumer confidence… we need to
                                                                                                               new models and revenue streams,
businesses need one another.                        make sure that all businesses play by
                                                                                                               such as retailers moving online and
                                                    the rules… to get us through this.”
“One thing that's come out of this                                                                             manufacturers making new goods, as
whole issue is even though we all know              Lee leans more into Campbell’s cautious                    well as local economic development.
that business and community are                     optimism.                                                  “We have to do all those things that
interdependent, I don't think it's been                                                                        keep us moving.”
                                                    “I think we need to acknowledge and
really acknowledged. I think it's time              celebrate the fact that Saskatchewan…                      Thibault agrees and mentions the
to play that up. And I think that's what            is a fairly diverse province where                         need for collaboration. She was
we're all doing.”                                   we are definitely doing better than                        recently involved in the signing of
                                                    many of the other provinces,” says                         a Memorandum of Understanding
McLellan echoes Thibault’s sentiments.
                                                    Lee. Pre-pandemic he saw economic                          between nine rural municipalities
While the first quarter of 2020 seemed
                                                    momentum in southern Saskatchewan                          to develop a regional economic
okay, the actual impact of COVID-19
                                                    and in the Saskatoon region, based                         development plan – the Deep South
will not be seen until the end of the
                                                    on entrepreneurship. He also notes                         Economic Partnership. This group
second quarter.
                                                    that many businesses answered the                          has now secured an experienced
“It's hard to think three, four, or five            challenge of the pandemic with quick                       development specialist to support
months [back], but we weren't in a                  pivots into new models.                                    them in moving forward, of which
strong economy… we didn't have                                                                                 the response was overwhelming. She
resilience built in. Our balance sheets             Green shoots                                               also notes that remote working is
were not strong across the province                 Cooper asks the panel how we can                           presenting an opportunity for rural
in terms of our businesses. And                     embrace optimism for the economy                           communities, too. Thibault also sees

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                                                                                            We Build – summer 2020 – building on: perseverance & strength in turbulent times 21
                                     Super Save Construction Ad.indd 1                                                                                           2017-09-14 3:46:04 PM
Feature

opportunities in the digital marketplace               The IT crowd                                even security issues to be diminished.”
that should be prioritized.                                                                        With those issues resolved, McLellan
                                                       The conversation turns to the Internet,
                                                                                                   sees economic activity rising
Campbell notes that the framework for                  and how vital it is to business. Demand
                                                                                                   dramatically.
business and government to stay safe is                on the Internet became extreme as
key to recovery.                                       people shifted to working from home,        Lee also sees the tech sector in
                                                       students moved online, and businesses       the province as a vital part of
“Governments and industry leaders
                                                       pivoted to the web. Thibault says it        Saskatchewan’s recovery and growth.
are doing what they can to ensure
                                                       may be time for investments to meet
that people feel safe and confident                                                                “There's a huge opportunity on the
                                                       the increased, sustained demand for
in going out and engaging again in                                                                 digital technology side… and the reality
                                                       reliable Internet access. “It may be time
ways that are safe. I think those are                                                              is Saskatchewan is behind most other
                                                       to look for more strategic partnerships
some pretty important things we                                                                    jurisdictions. So that means there
                                                       in order to serve the demand,” she says.
can do on the consumer confidence                                                                  is a huge upside and opportunity… I
side,” he says, noting that he sees the                McLellan agrees. “I like the Internet       think we need to embrace that,” says
push in technology and digitization                    as an example because everybody in
                                                                                                   Lee. “Technology is emerging as an
accelerating.                                          the last hundred days has realized
                                                                                                   opportunity, and in the last three
                                                       how critical it is to us… it's not good
Lee sees unique opportunities in the                                                               years, more financial capital [has] come
                                                       enough and we need it for education.
AgTech and food production spaces and                                                              into the market for Saskatchewan
                                                       We need it for that individual who
notes the importance of brand.                                                                     companies.”
                                                       wants to work from Arcola and has to
“We've all done a poor job of branding…                have constant access. We need it for        Local ideas, local growth
and the challenge we have is Alberta                   the cattle rancher who is looking for
                                                                                                   Not only is Internet infrastructure
and Manitoba spend millions and we've                  real-time prices, and so on. If we as a
got to compete with that,” says Lee.                   community through the government,           pointed to as an opportunity, but so are

“And unless we start to get our stories                private sector, federal, provincial,        other major infrastructure projects in
out and around Saskatchewan and                        municipal get Internet to the point         the idea phase. McLellan brings up the
all the unique things happening here,                  where it's not an issue because it's        longstanding idea of building a canal
we'll always struggle. I think we need                 just excellent everywhere, that will        from Diefenbaker Lake to Buffalo
significant investment in that.”                       facilitate economic, educational, and       Pound—an idea that has come up again
                                                                                                   recently as a significant, signature
                                                                                                   infrastructure project that would
                                                                                                   benefit many sectors and regions of the
     Performance Floors and Walls for Schools and Sports                                           province.

                                                                                                   “It gives us better water quality. It
                                                                                                   gives us guaranteed access for protein
                                                                                                   plants… imagine 75 people working in
                                                                                                   Broadview on a pea plant that needs
                                             ERV PARENT                                            as much water as a medium-sized
                                                                                                   city.” McLellan also points out the local
                                      Tarkett iQ Vinyl Flooring                                    industries that need more attention at
                                           Tarkett xf2 Linoleum                                    home. “The largest in-province user of
                                                                                                   Saskatchewan grains is our distilled
                                           Altro Safety Flooring
                                                                                                   products. So why is it I didn't know that
                                     Mondo Sport Rubber Wall                                       before?”
                                           Protection Systems
                                                                                                   Campbell also sees the opportunity in
  Erv Parent Co. Ltd. 791 Caldew Street, Delta, BC Tel: 604-525-4142 www.ervparent.com             promoting Saskatchewan at home and
                                                                                                   abroad.

22 SASKATCHEWAN CONSTRUCTION ASSOCIATION
Feature

“We have some pretty natural               “I go back to the digital platform. I feel                         Finally, Campbell concludes the
strengths… not just the fact that          we could really ramp up small business                             discussion with some heartfelt words
we have 40 per cent of Canada's            with supporting them in that regard…                               about Saskatchewan.
agricultural land, but also that we        we've made some recommendations to
                                                                                                              “People should be very, very proud of
do have… some pretty significant
                                           government, whether that's supporting                              the work they're doing to create wealth
companies and a research base on
                                           them with digital squads that will help                            and grow the Saskatchewan economy,”
which to build off. As the world
                                           business get tech savvy, or whether                                he says. “They should be very proud of
recovers from this, I think demand
                                           it's actually establishing an online                               what they're going out and doing every
for food is going to be significant. We
just need to make sure that we're          marketplace to give them the lift,” she                            day in terms of contributing to that
attracting as much investment here as      says.                                                              recovery.”
we can, supporting our producers and
the communities through research,
competitive operating environment,
and all of that.”

Recipe for success
Cooper asks the panel about how we
pave the way for the future.                                                                                                    www.tsask.ca

“I think if we strategically think about
                                                              Regulatory Safety Services:
investing in opportunity zones or
                                                                Boiler and Pressure Vessels
regions… we can fast track things and…                          Elevators and Amusement Rides
recognize where our core strengths are                          Power Engineers and Pressure Welders
inside of the province and then invest
in helping those sort of opportunity                            Certification - Licensing - Inspections
zones move forward,” says Lee.

“Show it. Don't tell it. The local                     Inspiring and Shaping Excellence in Public Safety
products, the things that we're doing,
we need to show it,” says McLellan.
“We need to do it more often. Local
products, the local heroes that we've
got. We need to celebrate those people                                 FNPA and its Board of Directors would like to welcome Mr. Guy
to inspire more people to do those sorts                               Lonechild to the position of Chief Executive Officer.

of things.”                                                            Mr. Lonechild brings a wealth of experience, leadership capacity
                                                                       and network which will greatly benefit our General and Industry
“In the short term we all have to                                      Members seeking renewable energy projects.

focus a little bit on sort of economic
                                                                                 FNPA and its Board of Directors would like to welcome Mr
                                                                  The Renewable Energy sector will redefine Canada’s energy landscape - representing a significant econ
                                            FNPA is a 100% opportunity
                                                              Indigenous-led    advisor
                                                                          to Canada’s
                                                                           Lonechild      and
                                                                                            tofacilitator,
                                                                                       Indigenous          representing
                                                                                                  people. New
                                                                                                the    position           both Indigenous
                                                                                                               green infrastructure
                                                                                                                    of Chief                   and businesses,
                                                                                                                                    will drive new
                                                                                                                                   Executive        Officer.investments,
stabilization, public safety, and                             and training for all Canadians and hold the potential to redefine the economic landscape for many Indige
                                            industry leaders in the development of environmentally preferred power generation projects.
                                                                  communities. These communities will be impacted by renewable energy developments throughout their Res
the reopening of the economy in a
                                            With over 1,300 MW
                                                             Treatyofand
                                                                      projects   underterritories;
                                                                          traditional   development      nationally,
                                                                                                   proactive         FNPAis and
                                                                                                             engagement          its membership
                                                                                                                             essential to supporting necessary approvals
very practical way,” says Campbell.                                       Mr. Lonechild
                                                             maximizing economic    outcomes—forgingbrings     a wealth
                                                                                                        our pathway          ofopportunities.
                                                                                                                     to powerful
                                            provide extensive power development expertise with a mandate to promote, develop, and
                                                                                                                                  experience, leadership ca
“Companies have to make assessments                                       and network
                                            implement capacity for Indigenous                      which
                                                                                   business interests     in will  greatly
                                                                                                             theofenergy
                                                                                                   In the spirit
                                                                                                                               benefit
                                                                                                                          sector.
                                                                                                                   partnership  with FNPA,
                                                                                                                                            our General and In
in terms of what the next few months                                     Membersdiscoverseeking     renewable
                                                                                              the possibilities        energy
                                                                                                                and become       projects.
                                                                                                                           a Member   today!
                                                                             Please
                                                      To help power the pathway  to acontact ourfuture,
                                                                                       greener   Membership
                                                                                                        become  Manager to discuss
                                                                                                                   a Member        your project needs
                                                                                                                               today!
looks like and the growth opportunities                      ContactThe
                                                                     our Membership     Manager   at ragecoutay@fnpa.ca.
                                                                          Renewable          Energy       sector will redefine Canada’s                                             ener
they have.”                                                         FNPA Team:                                                                     Contact us:
                                            FNPA Team:                      opportunity to Canada’s Indigenous people. New green infra
                                                                    Guy Lonechild - Chief Executive Officer                                          Contact
                                                                                                                                                   Phone:     us:
                                                                                                                                                           1-855-359-3672
                                                                    Rebecca    Agecoutay - Membership  Manager – Membership Manager      Phone: 1-855-359-3672
Thibault sees that the digital space and    Guy Lonechild – Chief Executive
                                                                            and training for all Canadians and hold the potential to re
                                                                            Officer           Rebecca Agecoutay
                                                                    Jenna Gall - Community Energy Project Manager
                                            Jenna Englot – Community Energy Project Manager Darren Huculak – Business Manager, Alberta
                                                                                                                                                   Email: info@fnpa.ca
                                                                                                                                            Email: info@fnpa.ca
                                                                    Darren Huculak - Business Manager, Alberta                                     www.fnpa.ca
small business have a lot to offer and      Christina Swan – FinanceJai     communities.
                                                                     & Operations
                                                                        Roberts - Coordinator             These
                                                                                                Tanya Project
                                                                                  Renewable Energy     Grondin         communities
                                                                                                               – Administrative
                                                                                                               Manager          Coordinator        will be impacted by renew
                                                                                                                                                   www.fnpa.ca

need support to reach their potential.                                      Treaty and traditional territories; proactive engagement
                                                                    Christina Swan - Finance & Operations Coordinator

                                                                            maximizing        We Buildeconomic             outcomes—forging
                                                                                                      – summer 2020 – building                                    our pathway
                                                                                                                                 on: perseverance & strength in turbulent times 23 to pow

                                                                                                                                             In the spirit of partne
THE EXPERTS
                                       You Can’t Pour from an Empty Cup:
                                       Mental Health Resiliency
                                       in Turbulent Times
By Kyle Anderson, M.A., Mental Health Workshop Facilitator, Bridges Health

“You’re either in a problem, just left                 The current pandemic has forced          1. Make Connections – Having positive,
one, or are headed towards one.” This                  us to develop resiliency in business,    supportive social relationships
quote from Les Brown sums up the                       relationships, and overall wellbeing.    ensures we do not feel alone during
inevitable challenges and setbacks                     Within the workplace, we are at          challenging events. While some
that we face on a regular basis                        times faced with challenges such as      individuals have a natural reaction
throughout our lives. It is said that                  organizational change, deadlines,        to withdraw and isolate amidst
the only constant in life is change,                   conflict with co-workers, and business   difficult times, particularly males, it is
and there is no better example of this                 competition.                             important to accept help and support
than the current COVID-19 pandemic,                                                             from those who care about you.
                                                       Resiliency is not a passive quality      Displaying vulnerability and asking
which has caused momentous changes
                                                       that some individuals have, and          for help is a sign of strength, not
in the way we live our lives. With
                                                       others don’t, but rather a skill that    weakness, especially in managers and
this in mind, how do we endure the
                                                       can be actively learned and improved     leaders within the workplace.
unavoidable storms of life?
                                                       over time. When considering how
Resilience is the process of adapting                  to improve resilience, here are a        2. Move Toward Your Goals – When
                                                                                                looking at a broad long-term goal,
and overcoming adversity and can be                    few elements that are important to
                                                                                                it can often appear daunting and
applied to all areas of our lives.                     consider:
                                                                                                overwhelming. Split the end-goal
                                                                                                into more manageable short-term
                                                                                                goals and act. Do something regularly

      Custom Metal Fabrication                                                                  – even if it seems like a small
                                                                                                accomplishment – that enables you
      For Commercial, Industrial, and Residential                                               to move toward your goals. Utilize
                                                                                                the SMART goal-setting acronym to
      Whether you need a prototype
      or a full production run of a                                                             provide clarity surrounding goals:
      custom product, ECCO’s highly                                                             Specific, Measurable, Attainable,
      skilled craftsmen, using the latest                                                       Relevant, and Time-bound.
      technology, can provide you with
      exactly what you need.                                                                    3. Focus on what you can control – You
                                                                                                cannot change the fact that highly
      Please contact us for estimates
      or more information.                                                                      stressful events happen, but you
                                                                                                can change how you interpret and
                                                                                                respond to these events. If we put
                                           311 70th Street East, Saskatoon, SK S7P 0E1
                                                                                                too much energy and focus on things
                                           Ph: 306-651-0711 • Fax: 306-931-6833                 that are out of our control, feelings of
                                           www.eccosupply.ca                                    stress and anxiety will only multiply.
                                                                                                Instead, put your time and energy into

24 SASKATCHEWAN CONSTRUCTION ASSOCIATION
THE EXPERTS
                                                                                                    Aon
                                                                                                    Construction
matters that you have control over,       Having trusting relationships within
such as your attitude, your effort, and   the workplace is imperative, so take
problem-solving solutions.                an interest in peoples’ lives outside of
                                          work, as this drives connection.
                                                                                                    Services
4. Nurture a Positive Self-View – Often
we are our own harshest critic,           Be aware of the different personalities
                                                                                                    Group
putting unrealistic expectations          and communication styles that exist
and pressures on ourselves. Be            within your team and find the best
                                                                                                    Canada's #1
aware of your internal dialogue and       ways to connect and support specific                      construction
challenge any negative self-talk.         individuals.                                              insurance broker.
Display self-compassion by speaking
to yourself the way you would talk        Whenever possible, include team                           Canada's #1 contract
                                          members in decision-making
to a friend or loved one, use positive                                                              bonding broker.
self-affirmations, and give yourself      processes, as this fosters their own
permission to make mistakes.              self-efficacy and improves decision-                      Why not use our
                                          making skills that can be used during                     leverage and
5. Maintain Boundaries – It is
                                          times of crisis.
important to set and maintain                                                                       experience to negotiate
healthy boundaries, particularly for      Finally, host regular group check-                        the best terms for
managers and individuals looking          ins that recognize wins and                               your business?
after others. Boundaries can be set       accomplishments, as well as offer
surrounding physical space, time, and     individuals the opportunity to                            Call today.
emotional energy. Not having healthy      identify areas they require support.
boundaries in place can cause us to       Regular individual check-ins are also                     Michael Sali, Regina
become overwhelmed and burnt out,         important, as it provides employees                       306.569.6704
so do not be afraid to strengthen your    with the chance to discuss anything                       306.502.6758
“NO” muscle!                              they don’t feel comfortable sharing

6. Engage in Self-Care – “You can’t
                                          with the entire group.                                    John Spooner, Saskatoon
pour from an empty cup.” Make             Take a proactive approach and
                                                                                                    306.975.8854
sure you are prioritizing time to         strengthen these skills on a regular                      306.241.3385
look after yourself and recharge, so      basis, so that when we are in a crisis
that when setbacks inevitably occur       we will be better equipped to handle
you are better positioned to respond      the challenge. Try getting in the habit
effectively. Exercise, healthy eating,
                                          of checking-in with yourself each day
meditation, and hobbies are a few
                                          by asking, “how do I feel right now?”
general areas of self-care, but at the
                                          This increases self-awareness and
end of the day do what works for you!
                                          helps you identify when problems
                                          are occurring, allowing you to make
Employer support
                                          appropriate adjustments to improve
It is important that we engage in
                                          your mental wellbeing before the
these practices within the workplace,
                                          situation worsens.
and employers, managers, and team
leaders set the tone. When leaders        For more information on improving
can display vulnerability, disclosing     psychological health and safety within
when they are having a tough time or      yourself, organization, or community,
require support, employees will feel      please contact Bridges Health at
encouraged to do so as well.              info@bridgeshealth.com.
                                                                           We Build – summer 2020 – building on: perseverance & strength in turbulent times 25
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