Mental Health support for our members

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2019 Community Conference and Seminar
8 November 2018
Carried as Amended

One in four people in the UK will have a mental health problem at some point. While mental health problems are common, most are mild, tend to be short-term and are normally successfully treated.

Mental health is about how we think, feel and behave. Anxiety and depression are the most common mental health problems. They are often a reaction to a difficult life event, such as bereavement, but are increasingly being caused by work-related issues.

Although many employers operate employment assistance programmes the service provided can vary widely. Most assessments are carried out over the telephone and the counselling that follows is also phone based and limited to a certain number of sessions.

The current work to train mental health first aiders in the workplace includes valuable information on relevant signposting for people suffering from mental health problems.

Conference notes that we in the community sector are in a unique position to help our members with support both in work and if they become unemployed. A number of the employers where we have members are charities specifically set up with mental health in mind. Branches and our members are more likely to be aware of and may even work in smaller local services which can support people with their mental health whether in work or not.

Conference asks the Service Group Executive to:

1) Survey Unison community service group members on the mental health services available in their area

2) Create a directory of mental health services available to members by region and publicise this to Unison branches.