Additional mental health supports are now available to people at Cameco’s Cigar Lake Mine in northern Saskatchewan.

The company has teamed up with Men of the North, which will provide support services to workers at the mine. Jonathan Huntington, vice president of sustainability and stakeholder relations told MBC Radio News the initiative is a true partnership.

“Men of the North does come to our Cigar Lake Mine in northern Saskatchewan and they sit with our workers after hours, to provide some guidance and some workshops, in return we provide a flight for Men of the North to come up to Cigar Lake and an overnight accommodation for them,” he said.

Cameco has worked with Men of the North in the past, specifically helping them cover their food costs for meetings they had in La Ronge before the COVID-19 pandemic. Men of the North has a connection with Cameco, as the organization’s founder Christopher Merasty works for the company. Huntington explained when Merasty told them about the group when it was originally starting up, Cameco liked what they heard.

“It was really innovative, here is a program where men in the north are talking about mental health, a few years ago even that wasn’t really heard of in many different locations in Canada,” he said.

Offering supports like these to workers is something which Huntington said the company feels strongly about in terms of its importance. He added given the makeup of the workforce at the Cigar Lake Mine, Men of the North is the perfect group to provide supports at the facility.

“At our mine sites like Cigar Lake, our northern workforce is above 50 per cent, so to have a northern Saskatchewan direct component like Men of the North coming up to Cigar Lake, its a really neat fit,” he said.

Men of the North was set to hold their first meeting at Cigar Lake this week. According to Huntington there are generally around 300 people on site per shift at the mine, he added they are encouraging all people whether they be full time employees or contractors to take part.

“If you’re at the mine site and you’re interested in this program with Men of the North, please come, please listen, please contribute if you’re interested,” he said.