Mental Health Awareness Training

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Conference
2023 National Water, Environment & Transport Conference
Date
21 February 2023
Decision
Carried

Conference notes with concern the evidence that the last few years have shown there to be an increasing deterioration in good mental health of workers across public services and including in Water, Environment and Transport (WET) workplaces.

This impact 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 WET 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 WET service group workers are also having to deal with various other stressors deliberately induced by this Tory Government such as huge workloads, under-investment and low pay as inflation breaks through into double digits while governments across the UK hold down wages.

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 educational materials to help WET activists and members recognise and combat poor mental health as well as addressing root causes.

Conference calls on the WET service group executive, working with the National Disabled Members Committee, to:

1)Liaise with UNISON’s Communications Department to encourage the publication of articles on how our union is supporting WET members who have been impacted on by poor mental health.

2)Work with our high-quality Learning and Organising Services to promote our excellent mental health training programmes to WET activists and members, and continue to develop them, and work on encouraging branches and activists to take up such training.

3)Circulate our updated Mental Health Bargaining Guide, which includes a new mental health model policy, to WET activists and encourage them to negotiate on mental health policies with employers

4)Engage with regions and branches in the WET service group to encourage them to promote our bargaining advice and training packages with WET employers and encourage them to potentially work with employers in delivering joint training where appropriate.