Improve your understanding of mental health at work

This week is Mental Health Awareness week and it is a good to time for union members and reps to improve their understanding of how mental health issues can affect their workplace.

Mental health is important in trade union activity and functions: health and safety; conduct; performance; workplace relationships; equality issues; ill health; learning and training; union workplace democracy; and many others.

Many people experience mental health problems at some point in their lives, and most reps and members will know somebody with a common mental health problem. There will be members in every union, every branch and every workplace affected by mental health problems.

Understanding the issues facing people with mental health problems and the importance of making reasonable adjustments in the workplace to accommodate their needs is vital for unions and employers. It will help overcome a major obstacle to building a more socially inclusive society. TUC Education has produced a practical workbook that aims to help reps improve their understanding of the issues – and look at ways to support colleagues.

The workbook will help reps to:

*) develop an understanding of mental health and common mental health problems

*) be aware of diversity issues impacting on members with mental health problems

*) develop an understanding of the law and mental health in the workplace

*) identify good practice around workplace policies on mental health

*) explore the role of union reps in supporting and representing members with mental health problems

*) identify organising and campaigning opportunities for trade unions around mental health.

The workbook is intended to be used actively – in courses, at branch meetings and in informal discussions. As well as being an information resource, it seeks to ask questions to stimulate discussion and debate so that individuals and groups can act on their commitment to challenge mental health discrimination and promote equality wherever they work and in their communities.

To order hard copies of “Mental health and the workplace” email [email protected]