Last autumn a union learning project run by URTU (United Road Transport Union) hosted a joint training event with the Communication Workers Union (CWU) to promote good mental health at work.
The Mental Health Awareness workshop was held in October at the CWU Learning Centre in Derby and was delivered by Nigel Williams, a tutor from Manchester College.
Nigel opened the workshop by getting delegates to take part in an introduction session. This involved the delegates not only introducing themselves but also getting them to inform the other delegates something about them that they would not know by simply looking at them.
Many of the delegates used this opportunity to share their own personal experience of mental health issues. This was at times funny, but also very moving and it took courage from delegates to share this.
Nigel followed on from this opening session by running further activities, including a mental health awareness quiz, which was well received by the delegates and produced some surprising answers. This led to some constructive group discussions.
The workshop also looked at the Equality Act 2010, in particular the section relating to disability and how that is defined for the purpose of the Act. Some delegates were surprised that mental health issues can be covered under this Act. At the close of the workshop, all delegates were very positive about the day and what they had learned, not only from the course activities but also from each other.
Many said that they had, had a very productive day with shared experiences and would take what they have learnt back into the workplace.
It was great to see reps from URTU and the CWU working together on a subject that is clearly of huge importance to all trade union members. Everyone shared their experience and took away some practical ideas for how to promote positive mental health within their workplaces.”
URTU Learning will be hosting a further Mental Health Awareness Workshop this February in Northampton and Newport.