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2006 National Women's Conference
13 January 2006

Conference welcomes the decision of the European Social Fund equality programme to award £2.45 million to Healthy Minds at Work in Wales.

Conference notes that UNISON Cymru/Wales are founding members of the development partnership.

Research has shown that twice as many women than men in the United Kingdom have a diagnosis of a depressive illness. Conference also notes that up to 95 per cent of women who experience domestic abuse are also going to develop a form of reactive depression.

Conference recognises the destructive elements of mental ill health on women at work and in their home life as a result of increasing stress in the workplace. Stress is now becoming a major factor in sickness absence as a result of the ever-increasing use of target setting and performance management.

Conference requires the National Women’s Committee to develop within its work plan a sign-posting guide to benefit women in the union, noting that twice as many women have a diagnosis of anxiety, stress or depression.

Conference instructs the National Women’s Committee to:

1)develop a strategy to raise awareness amongst women members of the effects of stress, depression and mental ill health;

2)formulate guidance/policy on a partnership approach with employers to enable a consistent and sensitive method of supporting employees suffering stress/mental ill health;

3)work with relevant sectors in UNISON to ensure that the issue of stress and mental ill health is included in stewards’ and health and safety stewards’ training in order to support and represent members who find themselves in this situation.