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Mental Health at Work - an issue all year round

JANUARY 29, 2020

There are many ways in which work can contribute to or exacerbate poor mental health, and these can include the threat of redundancies, reorganisations, overwhelming workloads, being expected to do more with less, low paid jobs, discrimination or the uncertainty of change which can all make things worse. Unite the Union is marking Mental Health Awareness Week by highlighting why mental health is an issue for members all year round.

Trade unions recognise mental health as a workplace issue. According to Mind, 1 in 6 workers suffer from mental health problems including depression and anxiety. Many of us spend a lot of time at work away from family and friends, and it can be a big contributor to stress levels. Negative work practices can also affect us in so many different ways and stress is one of the biggest contributors to poor mental health and must be recognised as a workplace issue.

Unite wants its members to be safe at work and to be able to thrive in the workplace, but believe this is only possible if employers take active steps to tackle work-related stress and its underlying causes.

Unite reps are here to support members experiencing poor mental health, and to support members to take care of their own mental health, by promoting a positive workplace and challenging the stigmas attached to poor mental health.

The first step to helping is to take a moment to recognise that, just like we all have physical health, we can all have mental ill health and that sometimes we feel well, and at other times we just feel unwell.

The TUC have produced its own booklet:  TUC Mental Health in the workplace and a free e-note: which you can register for and access for free.  

There are also many websites and organisations that can offer support and advice and Mind and ACAS are good sources of information for workplace issues and information relating to positive mental health workplace practices.

Have a look at this great video from Mind about recognising mental ill-health:  

 This blog was based on a news article first posted on and written by Kerry Brier, Unite Housing Branch Committee Member


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