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Time to Talk Day: Usdaw campaigns to promote mental health awareness and rights at work

Date: 02 February 2023 Retail trade union Usdaw is marking today’s Time to Talk Day by promoting the role trade union workplace reps play in making sure members receive the right support at work.
Time to Talk Day this year is on Thursday 2 February and aims to tackle stigma by encouraging conversations about mental health. It is run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness in England, in partnership with Co-op; along with Scottish Association for Mental Health and See Me in Scotland, Inspire and Change Your Mind in Northern Ireland and Time to Change Wales: https://timetotalkday.co.uk
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “Usdaw has long recognised that mental health is a trade union and workplace issue. Too many workers are struggling in a cost of living crisis and we know that money worries can increase the risk of developing a mental health problem. Usdaw’s recent survey found it is affecting 72% of our members' mental health.
“Usdaw reps are campaigning on mental health to raise awareness of workplace rights and to tackle stigma, which can get in the way of members seeking support and talking to their union rep at an early stage. This can lead to them getting caught up in disciplinary procedures that could and should have been avoided. Usdaw reps play a crucial role promoting respectful and safe workplaces and giving members a voice at work, both of which are factors in supporting mental health and well-being.
“Time to Talk Day is an important annual event that reaches millions of people and highlights the link between talking about mental health, seeking support and recovery. Usdaw supports the work of campaigning organisations and pays credit to every lay-rep for all they do to support members at work.
“Although a lot of progress has been made in recent years the stigma that still surrounds mental health prevents people from seeking support. Usdaw wants to change that and our mental health campaign provides the union’s workplace reps with the resources they need to better support members receive the adjustments they need at work. 
“One in four of us will have a mental health problem at some point in our lives; for too long mental health has been a taboo subject and individuals are often unfairly blamed for their condition. So we very much welcome this campaign day to help highlight the issue.”
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with around 360,000 members. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemical industry and other trades.
Usdaw’s Mental Health Campaign: www.usdaw.org.uk/Campaigns/Mental-Health
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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