Mental health at work

Mental Health at UNISON is a growing concern.

Motions raised at our National Delegate Conference over the past few years have shown a growing from anxiety from our members on how our own mental health is affected by work.

Stress is a major pre-cursor to worsening mental health, and after years of austerity and being asked to do more with less, our members are at crisis point

A recent Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development study highlighted the impact that mental ill health can have on organisations.

The study found that:

  • 37% of sufferers are more likely to get into conflict with colleagues
  • 57% find it harder to juggle multiple tasks
  • 80% find it difficult to concentrate
  • 62% take longer to do tasks
  • 50% are potentially less patient with customers/clients.

Mental Health Areas of concern at UNISON:

Pre Existing Conditions: Schizophrenia, Bi Polar, Eating Disorders, OCD. Conditions Made Worse By Work: Stress Workload W/L Balance Relationships. Conditions Made Worse By Work Working With Those With MH Conditions: Colleagues Patients Students The Public. Mental Health of UNISON Activists: Casework Branch Issues Additional Roles - MHFA

Mental Health First Aid

There has been a huge drive in support for “Mental Health First-Aid” at work – not just from employers bust from activists alike, as a solution to the growing concerns around managing mental health at work.

UNISON believes that the concept of immediate “mental” as well as “physical” first aid is laudable; the “physical” first aid concept is much further forward – with legislation and organisational infrastructure behind it.

Our concern is that employers will train Mental Health first aiders and see them as the answer to the issue when in fact the issue could and should be addressed directly; with metal health first aiders as support as opposed to the complete solution.

Mental Health First Aiders should also have some level of mental health support themselves as well as recording options and supervision to ensure that they do not become overloaded due to role they are undertaking.