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2023 Police & Justice Service Group Conference
6 June 2023

Conference notes with concern the evidence of the last few years that has shown an increase in poor mental health in workers across public services, including in police and justice workplaces. This was significantly exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic which saw people cut off from family, friends, and support networks. On top of this was the additional stress for workers in the police service group of continuing to provide high quality services in high-risk situations due both to Covid-19 itself and a lack of effective PPE.

Conference notes that police and justice service group workers are also having to deal with various other stressors such as high workloads, under-investment from central government and the cost of living crisis.

Conference recognises that poor mental health disproportionately affects staff who are already disabled. Conference notes the work done by UNISON in highlighting the impact of poor mental health, and in providing bargaining guides to help branches negotiate good mental health policies and reasonable adjustments for members with mental health problems.

Conference further notes UNISON’s training materials to help police and justice activists and members recognise and combat poor mental health as well as addressing root causes including workplace stress.

Conference calls on the Police and Justice Service Group Executive, working with the National Disabled Members Committee to:

1)Circulate our updated Mental Health Bargaining Guide, which includes a new mental health model policy, to branches and activists in the police and justice service group and encourage them to negotiate on mental health policies with employers;

2)Work with our high-quality Learning and Organising Services to promote our excellent mental health training programmes to police and justice activists and members;

3)Continue to make the link between poor mental health and workplace stress and under-investment in vital police and justice services.