Oil, Heartbreak, And Manhood: Behind The Mental Health Crisis Of Alberta's Oil Workers

Omar Mouallem, for BuzzFeed August 2, 017

“Not a lot of things in life are preventable,” she told them, “but suicide is.” said MSTH co-founder Lorna Thomas, who convinced a trade school in Alberta to adopt suicidee prevention training .following the suicide of her 24-year-old son Alex Thomas-Haug. He was working 60-hour weeks behind a welding visor that masked the dullness of his eyes. The once-exuberant redhead and aspiring filmmaker was increasingly irritable and resisting his parents’ attempts at outreach, but he sometimes complained about the macho work environment, the culture of shaming and toughness. Shortly after his death in 2012, Thomas brought a Tough Enough to Talk About It facilitator to her son’s former workplace to give the one-hour session as part of a safety meeting.

Oil, Heartbreak, And Manhood: Behind The Mental Health Crisis Of Alberta's Oil Workers