Dave Joyce, CWU’s National Health, Safety & Environment Officer has written previously to all Branches with Royal Mail Group membership regarding RMG’s Group Safety ‘New 5-Year Mental Health Strategy – Because Healthy Minds Matter’.
He also detailed a new Mental Health e-Learning Programme for managers which it had been agreed would also be available for CWU Area Health and Safety Reps and other Reps to access and complete.
This is a basic introductory, on line, short learning module which can be followed up by ‘Mental Health First Aid Training’ which the Health, Safety & Environment Department has been promoting strongly and recommending to all CWU Reps since its launch in the UK by the Department of Health: National Institute of Mental Health in England (NIMHE) as part of a national approach to improving public mental health.
Here is further detail he has sent out in his latest letter to Branches (LTB649/17):
“Because Healthy Minds Matter” & “Zero Suicide Alliance” on line e-learning:
Attention all ASRs – We strongly recommend you complete the “Because Healthy Minds Matter” e-learning module.
To access the “Because Healthy Minds Matter” e-learning follow this link: - https://spark.adobe.com/page/efxsW3rL2MaUS/
Also the ‘Zero Suicide Alliance’ suicide prevention on line e-learning (20 Mins). See LTB 627/17.
It’s available at: at: www.zerosuicidealliance.com
Launch of ‘Pocket Z-Cards’:
The next stage in the RMG strategy is the launch of the ‘Because Healthy Minds Matters’ ‘Pocket Z-Cards’ which have been distributed to all Royal Mail Group Offices and Workplaces for distribution to individual members of staff.
Would all Area Health and Safety Reps ensure that the Pocket Z-Cards have arrived in their Offices, Centres, Plants, Depots etc and that they have been made available to members?
A pdf version of the ‘Z-Card’ can be downloaded by clicking on the pic below right, and the Health, Safety & Environment Department will be distributing the Cards to ASRs via Regional Health & Safety Forums.
It will remain available via this website's E-Library Database where you can also find resources on mental health.
The Z-Cards reminds members that everyone can all be affected by a mental health condition either directly or indirectly and reminds us all of the importance of talking and getting support. The Z-Cards outline ways to get support from your Royal Mail and reminds us all to “ACT.”(Three simple steps that you can take that could help to start making things better).
A – Acknowledge: If you or someone else close to you isn’t their usual self.
C – Communicate: If you’re not feeling ok speak to someone about it. If you’re worried about someone else ask them if they’re ok and encourage them to talk.
T – Take Action: Find out what support is available and encourage others to do the same. Act and things can start to get better.
Royal Mail Group Plans
Mental health problems are widespread, at times disabling, yet often hidden. One in four adults experience at least one diagnosable MH condition in any given year. People in all walks of life can be affected and at any point in their lives.
There is a strong relationship between employee wellbeing and engagement, performance and attendance. RMG is one of the UK’s largest employers and have given a strong commitment to effective support strategies and tools that can make a positive difference to RMG employees who are directly or indirectly affected by mental health issues.
Preventative action and early intervention are the most effective ways to support mental health.
Many people remain in work whilst experiencing MH conditions, studies suggest this has a positive effect in most cases and so awareness and support are vital. RMG plans to improve the way the organisation thinks about mental health focus on the following key areas, in which everyone plays a part, and can be summarised as:
· Increase MH awareness;
· Decrease MH stigma;
· Signpost those in need to support and tools, and;
· Know where to go in a crisis.
Advice – What You As Reps and Members Can Do
We can all support colleagues at work and family and friends at home through the simple steps of ACT. If you are worried about someone else ask them if they are okay and encourage them to talk. Take time to listen. Take Action – Find out what support is available and encourage others to do the same. ‘ACT’ and things can start to get better. Be part of making a change by way you think, feel and talk about mental health conditions with colleagues, family and friends.
For individuals the advice is – ‘Don’t suffer in silence’
- 1 in 4 People will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime.
- 70% of employees don’t feel able to speak candidly about mental health concerns.
- 76% of suicides are by men and suicide is the most common cause of death in men under 45.
The RMG Wellbeing Toolkit
This is available via the intranet link below and contains links to the following resources:
Feeling First Class – www.feelingfirstclass.co.uk is a wellbeing website for employees (FFC1 to register). Contains proactive health advice and Online Stress Tool.
First Class Support – 24/7 free and confidential phone line (0800 6888777) and website www.rmgfirstclasssupport.co.uk, providing Feeling First Class – Stress – Access to stress guidance and the ‘Guided Conversation for Stress’ on how to support an employee experiencing distress.
First Class Mental Health – Useful information to support the wellbeing of colleagues including, Mental Health Support Guide: Suicide; five Mental Health Foundation videos; information on the ‘Time to Change’ pledge and links to helpful websites. There is also a link to Success Factors for managers to book onto a one day Mental Health Awareness course.
First Class Fitness – A link to the RMG gyms website – http://royalmailfitness.co.uk
First Class Lifestyle – Links to useful websites and downloadable PDFs on health topics such as smoking, diet and alcohol.
Wellbeing Communications – Occupational Health guidance documents can be accessed from the toolkit and PSP.
RMG’s in house charity, the Rowland Hill Fund – also provides support to members in financial crisis or in need of practical help. The Rowland Hill Fund is at the following link: www.rowlandhillfund.org RHF helps Royal Mail Group employees, pensioners and their immediate families with financial and practical support.
You can also contact their confidential helpline via 0800 6888777
Resources are available from RMG’s charity partners:-
MIND: www.mind.org.uk or Helpline 0300 123 3393
Samaritans: www.samaritans.org or 24 Hr Helpline: 116 123 – “Whatever you’re going through, call free any time, from any phone on 116 123. Remember ‘small talk saves lives’.