Shopworkers’ trade union leader John Hannett is marking this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week by celebrating 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 industrywide cuts to budgets and staffing levels have left members feeling overstretched, overworked and undervalued. In short people are more stressed.
“Evidence shows that in recent years there has been a four-fold increase in the number of people reporting symptoms of stress 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, who are doing a great job supporting members with mental health problems.
“Usdaw reps run campaign awareness days in their workplaces to tackle the stigma that surrounds mental health. Stigma that can get in the way of members talking about their problems at an early stage, which can lead to them getting caught up in disciplinary procedures that could and should have been avoided.
“By tackling stress, we can go a long way to tackle mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Usdaw supports the work of mental health charities and organisations who look at how we can tackle stress and help improve our mental health. We also pay credit to Usdaw’s lay-reps for all they do to support members whose mental health might be causing them problems at work.
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 28% over the 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: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news
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