Unite is running a series of mental health awareness courses as well as training members in mental health first aid throughout the UK to coincide with mental health awareness week (May 14 to 18).
In recent years there has been a huge increase in awareness of mental health issues in the workplace, although the true scale of the problem in the workplace is masked by workers remaining reluctant to admit their problems.
This reluctance is particularly the case in macho industries such as construction. At least one in four of people will experience mental health issues during their lifetime.
Courses are running in Scotland, East Midlands and West Midlands and also directly in workplaces including British Aerospace, Sulzer, Leeds Training Hospital, Hull city council, Midlothian council and Network Rail.
There are already a number of companies that Unite has worked with which are already ‘going the extra mile’ to promote good mental health in the workplace, including Arriva Trains, BA Avonics, Barclays, Royal Mail, Sellafield and Scottish and Southern Energy.
Unite is organising further activities on mental health training for this autumn to coincide with World Mental Health day on Wednesday, October 10.
“Our members are increasingly highlighting how mental health issues are a key concern in the workplace,” said Unite director for education Jim Mowatt.
“Unite is providing training and advice for our activists to ensure that our members receive the support and are all able to access the help they need,” he added.
“We are also highlighting where employers working practices are resulting in workplace mental ill health. Unite is breaking down the barriers and taboos to ensure that mental health problems are no longer a silent epidemic that is not talked about.”