General secretary Dave Prentis was joined by activists to sign UNISON up to the Blue Light mental health initiative today.
Organised by mental-health charity Mind, the scheme is supported by the ambulance and other emergency services and aims to provide mental health support for emergency services staff and volunteers across England.
UNISON has pledged to:
- communicate the anti-stigma message;
- review current support;
- create space for personal experience perspectives;
- map ongoing initiatives.
Time to Change, the wider campaign, aims to break down the stigma that is often associated with mental health.
One in four people will experience a mental health issue in any year – that means that a quarter of the people you know may have a problem with their mental health this year, and some of those will be at work.
UNISON’s pledge also includes a commitment to the union’s staff as well as the members.
But today is also the campaign’s Time to Talk day, when people all over the country are encouraged to talk about mental health.
So have a conversation with a colleague today. You might want to talk about that one in four statistic or about your own direct or indirect experience of mental ill health. Or it may simply mean asking a colleague you are concerned about, how they are feeling today.
And that can make a difference.
To find out more about Time to Change, visit time-to-change.org.uk.