Sunday May 26, 2019
For the road ahead

Union Rep Booklet: Mental health & the workplace


Unions, including URTU, have a long history of campaigning for change in the workplace and beyond, not only on employment rights or safety issues but also on the way people are viewed in the workplace and in society. 

There is much stigma and discrimination around mental health and particularly mental ill health. These are issues of justice, equality and fairness - core trade union business. With the impact of austerity contributing to ever-increasing levels of workplace stress, there has been an increase in the prevalence of mental ill health.

In response, unions have often taken the lead both in securing the best outcomes for individual members with mental health issues, and in working with employers to develop ‘mentally healthy' workplaces.

To assist union reps support those in the workplace with mental health problems, the union workbook ‘Mental Health and the Workplace' has been updated.

This workbook will help reps to:

  • Help prevent stress-related mental illness.
  • 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.

This 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.

Mental Health and the Workplace

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