World Mental Health Day - Usdaw praises the role of workplace trade union reps

Date: 10 October 2017 Around 12 million people a year see their GP about a mental health problem, but many workers with anxiety or depression face negative attitudes and even disciplinary action because of their condition. Shopworkers’ trade union leader John Hannett is marking this year’s World Mental Health Day, on 10 October, by praising the role of trade union workplace reps in supporting members experiencing mental health problems.
John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary says: “Mental health is a trade union issue. Cuts to in-work benefits; rising living costs; wages falling in value; shorter working hours; redundancies, along with industry-wide cuts to budgets and staffing levels have left members feeling overstretched, overworked and undervalued.
 
“Evidence shows that in recent years there has been a four-fold increase in the number of people reporting symptoms and seeking help. This is reflected in increased numbers of enquiries from members struggling to cope; together with a growing demand for advice and guidance from our reps doing a great job supporting members with mental health problems in the workplace.
 
“Usdaw reps are running campaign awareness days in their workplaces to tackle the stigma that surrounds mental health. Stigma gets in the way of members talking to the union at an early stage and this can lead to them getting caught up in disciplinary procedures that could and should have been avoided.
 
“World Mental Health Day is an important annual event highlighting how common mental health problems are across the globe and tackling the stigma that still surrounds the issue. Usdaw supports the work of mental health charities and organisations and salutes our lay-reps for all they do to help members deal with issues in the workplace.”
 
Notes for Editors:
 
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 430,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 17% in the last five years and by nearly a third in the last decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the Union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
 
For Usdaw press releases visit: www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion
 

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The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers