“In April 2018, CWU Conference carried Composite Motion 69 to establish a comprehensive “CWU Mental Health Strategy”. This agreed programme makes a positive contribution to the Union’s strategy” - Dave Joyce, National Health Safety And Environment Officer.
Proving that Mental Health is indeed an issue within the remit of the CWU’s Health Safety and Environment Department and one that CWU safety reps deal with as part of their role aat Branch level, Dave Joyce announces the latest intitiave on mental health at work the department is engaged with and culminating in a ground breaking agreement with Royal Mail:
The CWU Health, Safety and Environment Department has been seeking to ensure that there are trained Mental Health First Aid colleagues in all workplaces who know how give initial support and to point people in distress, in the direction of appropriate help needed.
Royal Mail Group’s Global Director of Safety, Health, Wellbeing & Sustainability and the Group Head of Health and Wellbeing agree with that objective – full credit to Shaun Davis and Rachel Boon.
Through the launch of the Royal Mail Group “Because Healthy Minds Matter” five-year mental health strategy in 2017/18, led by Dr. Shaun Davis, RMG Global Director of Safety, Health, Wellbeing and Sustainability, Royal Mail Group are committed to combine both Group-wide programmes and local activities to support healthy minds.
Royal Mail Group (RMG) is also committed, through positive leadership influence, to implementing effective support strategies and tools that can make a positive difference to those in the workforce who are directly or indirectly affected by mental health issues. The CWU/RMG Joint Statement can be downloaded - click the picture below.
The strategies and activities will have full CWU involvement, input and support at national and local level.
RMG 5-Year Mental Health Strategy – “Because Healthy Minds Matter” key aims in summary are to:
* Make Royal Mail Group mental health friendly
* Increase awareness
* Decrease stigma
* Provide access to tools and support (for managers and staff)
* Make sure managers and staff know where to go in a crisis
In summary, so far Royal Mail Group’s Occupational Health Team have; completed senior leadership mental-health engagement sessions across the business, launched an internal multi-media communication campaign, launched a new mandatory e-learning course for all managers, trained hundreds of managers on Mental Health First Aid, rolled out new mental
health support ‘z-cards’ or pocket cards to all of the Royal Mail Group’s workforce, promoted Royal Mail’s Feeling First Class and Employee Assistance Services, launched the new local mental-health ambassadors network and launched a new ‘Everyday People’ mental health video.
A Mental Health First Aider is a volunteer person in the workplace or organisation who has been trained to identify, understand and help someone who may be in distress and be experiencing a mental health issue.
They are not a therapist, psychiatrist or clinician, they are someone who is able to listen, converse, reassure and respond, even in a crisis – and even potentially stop a crisis from happening. This is because they’ve received training to recognise warning signs of mental ill health, and have developed the basic skills to support someone and signpost them to professional help and support.
I am pleased to formally announce that reflecting this commitment, and following on from the success of mental health activity since the October 2017 Strategy launch, Royal Mail Group has agreed to upskill all physical/medical first aiders with Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training. This will involve approximately 5,500 CWU Members who are First Aid volunteers across the UK.
In addition, all CWU Area Health and Safety Representatives in all Royal Mail Group Businesses and Business Units, approximately 150 Health and Safety Reps, will be included in the programme and will be able to attend the MHFA training courses also.
The training will be provided by in-house, accredited, licensed MHFA instructors.
RMG is planning to increase its capacity and availability of the MHFA training courses ready to launch this large, ambitious programme for our physical/medical first aiders and Area Health and Safety Reps, starting later this year (estimated to start in quarter three 2018/19.
In April 2018, CWU Conference carried Composite Motion 69 to establish a comprehensive “CWU Mental Health Strategy”. This agreed programme makes a positive contribution to the Union’s strategy.
Further joint RMG/CWU communications including details of how First Aiders and CWU Health and Safety Reps are able to register and attend the courses will be made available in due course, in the near future.
The MHFA specially designed 1-day course will be provided and matches that which is currently offered by Mental Health First Aid England and is a condensed version of the standard 2-day MHFA (England) training course.
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Course
Mental Health Problems cover a wide range of issues - including stress, anxiety depression and substance abuse - that affect someone's ability to get on with their daily life. The most common mental disorder in Britain is mixed anxiety and depression. 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem during some point of their life.
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is designed for those who want to know more about mental health problems and how to support someone in distress. MHFA training is an intensive course, aimed at those without specialist mental health training.
An MHFA course will teach people to recognise the early signs of a mental health problem and give you the confidence and knowledge to help.
Learning Outcomes on an MHFA course:
Recognising or spotting the early signs and symptoms of common mental health problems
Feel confident helping someone experiencing a problem
Provide help on a first aid basis
Help prevent someone from hurting themselves or others
Help stop a mental illness from getting worse
Help someone recover faster
Guide others towards the right support
Reduce the stigma of mental health problems
Source: LTB481/18 / CWU