Unite, the UK’s largest union, is running a series of mental health awareness courses as well as training members in mental health first aid throughout the UK to coincide with mental health awareness week (May 14-18).
In recent years there has been a huge increase in awareness of mental health issues in the workplace, although the true scale of the problem in the workplace is masked by workers remaining reluctant to admit their problems.
One in four will experience mental health issues
This reluctance is particularly the case in macho industries such as construction. At least one in four of people will experience mental health issues during their lifetime.
Courses are running in Scotland, East Midlands and West Midlands and also directly in workplaces including British Aerospace, Sulzer, Leeds Training Hospital, Hull city council, Midlothian council and Network Rail.
There are already a number of companies that Unite has worked with which are already ‘going the extra mile’ to promote good mental health in the workplace they include: Arriva Trains, BA Avonics, Barclays, Royal Mail, Sellafield and Scottish and Southern Energy.
Unite is organising further activities on mental health training for this autumn to coincide with World Mental Health day on Wednesday 10 October.
Mental health is a key workplace concern
Unite director for education Jim Mowatt said: “Our members are increasingly highlighting how mental health issues are a key concern in the workplace.
“Unite is providing training and advice for our activists to ensure that our members receive the support and are all able to access the help they need.
“We are also highlighting where employers working practices are resulting in workplace mental ill health. Unite is breaking down the barriers and taboos to ensure that mental health problems are no longer a silent epidemic that is not talked about.”
Mental health is an integral part of this and is confirmed in the UK chemical industry’s Responsible Care® Guiding Principles.
During these unprecedented times of change, necessitated by managing and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital that organisations develop and foster an effective and inclusive culture for good positive mental health and mental wellbeing. Factors both inside the workplace and external to it, i.e. those personal to us away from work, contribute to our mental health.
As we approach the 2020 Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May), CIA employers and trade unions are working together to:
Encourage organisations and workforces to do everything they can to promote positive cultures, and to raise awareness of good mental health and mental wellbeing including signposting where support can be found.
To promote activities as part of raising awareness for Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24May), contributing to its central theme of ‘kindness’ in order to help everyone during these uniquely difficult times.
Making available to all, and encouraging the use of, the new CIA interactive Mental Health & Wellbeing Indicator Tool and signpost guide, which form part of the CIA’s Health Leadership & Wellbeing Strategy Series.
Unite is the largest trade union in the UK and Ireland with members across the private, public and voluntary sectors including manufacturing, public services, transport, food, finance and construction. Even if you are not in work, there is a place for you in our community or retired member sections.
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