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World Mental Health Day: Usdaw says 'it's good to talk' as the Covid-19 crisis impacts workers

Date: 10 October 2020 Shopworkers’ trade union leader Paddy Lillis is marking today’s World Mental Health Day by celebrating the role of trade union workplace reps in supporting members and highlighting the impact of the coronavirus crisis on workers’ mental health.
Usdaw’s ‘Impact of Coronavirus’ survey of 7,357 members, primarily essential workers, found that 70% are experiencing anxiety and raised concerns with their employer. Full Survey results: www.usdaw.org.uk/CoronavirusReport
 
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “Mental health is a trade union issue, so we welcome World Mental Health Day. This year has been incredibly challenging. At some point or another everyone has felt confused, frightened and worried by the Coronavirus and our survey demonstrates the extent of that. I have never known a single issue cause nearly three-quarters of our members to raise concerns with their employer in such a short space of time.
 
“Usdaw recognises that the Coronavirus crisis poses a risk not only to our physical health and wellbeing, but to our mental health too. In the current crisis our members are under pressure like never before. Anxiety about exposure to the virus and social distancing in workplaces, increased customer abuse, isolation from friends and family, stress and worry about the future, about job security and family income. Our members are coping with these concerns on a daily basis.
 
“Usdaw reps are raising awareness 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, shining a light on an everyday issue. Usdaw supports the work of mental health organisations and salutes our lay-reps for all they do to help members deal with issues in the workplace.”
 
Usdaw’s ‘It’s good to talk’ campaign provides the union’s workplace reps with advice and resources to support members experiencing a common mental health problem such as depression or anxiety. For more information: www.usdaw.org.uk/Help-Advice/Health-Wellbeing/Mental-Health
 
Notes for editors:
 
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with over 400,000 members. Membership has increased by more than one-third over the last couple of decades. 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 and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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