Today marks Time To Talk Day, our largest national conversation about mental health. It is the day that friends, families, communities, and workplaces come together to talk, listen and change lives.
The day is all about creating supportive communities by having conversations with family, friends, or colleagues about mental health. We all have mental health, by talking about it we can support ourselves and others.
One in six adults experiences a common mental health problem, such as anxiety or depression, with one in five having considered taking their own life at some point. Trade unions have a pivotal role in starting conversations around mental health at work.
This is an area that still requires a substantial amount of work. Currently, only 13% of line managers have received training to support those with mental ill-health within the workplace.
Those with mental health issues also often find it difficult to seek support.
One in five say they have faced discrimination in the workplace due to their mental health problem.
A mere 15% have ever requested a reasonable adjustment related to their mental health problem, and of those who had two-thirds said their requests were either rejected or only partially met. This is despite the right to reasonable adjustments being enshrined in law.
Back in 2017, our biennial conference community selected mental health as our priority campaign. Five years later, we are still committed to supporting our members with the training they need to be aware of mental health conditions and how best to support their colleagues, family and friends.
We have delivered Mental Health First Aid training to hundreds of members across the country, which is a widely recognised accredited 2-day course with individuals learning to recognise when a person might need help and how to approach them.
In the last two years we’ve been campaigning for more flexible working and on the unequal impacts of Coronavirus on those with disabilities. We published a mental health guide to support our members during this crisis, and established a Member Support Fund for people who may be struggling financially as a result of the pandemic.
We also offer several courses to help you better understand mental health – for more information click here.
We need everyone to understand that when mental health is made a priority, it makes a workforce stronger, it makes a workforce healthier. This Time To Talk Day, we need to make that change, start these conversations, and create a future inclusive for all.
If you are a member of Community and need help or advice, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0800 389 6332.