Organising Members in Mental Health services

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2009 Health Care Service Group Conference
12 December 2008

Conference recognises that nationally Mental Health services have been underfunded for many years, and still remain a ‘Cinderella’ service in the NHS.

One effect of this is that mental health workers are not seen as having a high status within the NHS, and other health workers may have little knowledge or understanding of their position. Mental health workers face increasing pressures because they are working with clients with increasingly complex needs but do not have adequate resources to do so.

In order to address this, and to build on the basis set by Composite F at 2008 Health Care Service Group Conference, this Conference agrees to support and encourage the sharing of information and good practice between branches about organising health workers in Mental Health Services. The aim is to raise the profile of mental health workers, to improve their working conditions, and to involve them in the fight for better mental health services.

Conference calls on the Health Service Group Executive to ensure that this includes:

i.facilitation of meetings of branches covering mental health services at local, regional and national level;

ii.articles from and about mental health workers in UNISON publications;

iii.supporting a mental health workers email group / network similar to the Primary Care Network;

iv.continuing to encourage branches and mental health workers to build alliances with users and carers, recognising that this makes it easier to fight for better mental health services.