Mental Health – Equipping the Rep

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2018 National Disabled Members' Conference
6 July 2018

Conference notes that mental health is an issue for lots of our members as employers fail to make reasonable adjustments to sickness absence policies or to disciplinary and performance management policies. Bullying and harassment of members with mental health problems also continues in our workplaces.

As reps we often have to listen and be all things to a member, and sometimes we may need to sign post them to their GP or other organisations. UNISON’s mental health awareness course touches on this but there is a need for more.

Conference notes the new UNISON guide “Bargaining for Mental Health Policies” which can be used by branches to negotiate policies in their workplace. Hillingdon branch has started to negotiate mental health passports with the local authority with a view to rolling this out to other employers where we have members.

Conference therefore calls on the National Disabled Members Committee to publicise the new Negotiating Mental Health Policies guide and to work with Learning And Organising Services (LAOS) to find ways of equipping stewards with the knowledge and skills they need to represent and support our members in the workplace who may be experiencing mental health problems.