Mental Ill- Health, Mental Health Related Illnesses and Awareness Monitoring.

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2016 Energy Service Group Conference
29 February 2016
Carried as Amended

The problems of mental ill-health and mental health related illnesses are some of the biggest difficulties facing our members at work today. When jobs are under threat, pay packets are being frozen and workloads are increasing, the mental health of employees is always likely to be affected.

Over the last two decades, we have all noticed the increasing impact of mental ill health in the work place. Stress, anxiety and depression, although not all work-related, have led to higher rates of absenteeism and loss of productivity due to presenteeism.

Recent studies of workplace health issues by the Health and Safety Executive suggest mental ill-health and related illnesses now rival accidents as the biggest Health and Safety concern that affect our members.

Mental health illness may take many forms and often failure to recognize the symptoms by both employer and stress-affected member may add to the difficulty of providing effective counselling, support and welfare during the sickness absence.

We call upon the Energy Service Group Executive, in conjunction with the National and Regional Disabled Members SOG committees to:

1. Develop a discussion document for Branches that identify the common symptoms related to mental health illnesses;

2. Encourage Branches to work in partnership with Employers wherever possible to provide a sensitive approach to dealing with mental ill-health and related illnesses;

3. Arrange training through the National Energy Seminar to identify common symptoms of mental ill-health, raise counselling skills and to develop sickness absence policies that emphasize the need for support and welfare as opposed to the routine management of sickness absence.

4. Identify best practices including the support for Branch ‘’ Mental Health Champions’’ and to develop cross company support for this initiative.

5. Explore the learning potential from the ENA Powering Improvement annual focus for 2016 which is ‘’Managing Occupational Ill Health Risks’’ and ensure the main principles acknowledging work related stresses and mental health illness issues are cascaded down to Energy Branch Secretaries, Equality co-ordinators and Health and Safety Representatives with a recommendation they monitor Company and Sector participation, commitment and implementation in their own work places with particular reference to issues contained in the Disability and Discrimination Act.