2022-06-01 9:33

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CWU’s Mental Health First Aiders Network Grows Month By Month

The CWU, one of the UK’s largest and strongest Trade Unions has for some time been tackling one of the country’s biggest problems – that of mental health illness that is fast reaching almost pandemic proportions; caused in part by an actual pandemic, that of Covid-19.

The words ‘actual pandemic’ alone exemplifies the often-dismissive manner in which the media and society views the serious issue of mental health problems, as if it is not worthy of the same attention we give to physical ailments.

At this year’s CWU General Conference, perhaps the one single issue highlighted by the health & safety community within the Union; was that of mental health.

With several policy motions being debated and carried on the subject of suicide and the need for training on mental health support and in particular suicide prevention; the Union’s support for mental health first aiders was given prominence.

The North west Region of the CWU has been very active in the training up of new volunteers to become mental health first aiders and to encourage the removal of attitudes which contribute to creating and maintaining a stigma around mental health which stops those suffering in silence coming forward for help; before their problems become so great and debilitating that it leads to some taking their own lives.

As the training of CWU members in the workplace to become MHFAs, social media is a key tool for those providing the training to highlight the work being done and to promote this unique training programme which can only help to support those needing help and to educate the employer and the Union’s members as to the extent of the problem in the workplace and wider society; and to enable the removal of the stigma around those suffering compromised mental health.

Last week one such training event of new MHFAs took place within the CWU Eastern No 5 Branch area. An event run by Jamie McGovern and Steve Croke for 11 new delegates to the course set by the organisation Mental Health First Aiders England.

Writing on his Twitter feed, Jamie said:

‘Just spent a very rewarding and enjoyable 2 days with CWU's Eastern No5 Branch working with co  CWU MHFA instructor Steve Croke taking truly 11 excellent delegates through the @MHFAEngland adult 2 day course, welcome to our MHFA network’

Steve Jones CWU NEC member and chair of the union’s National Mental Health Project team spoke at the union’s April conference in support of the MHFA work being done, told delegates that he lost his own son to suicide some 10 years ago; commented on Jamie’s posting:

‘As ever I am so proud of the CWU and the work we do not only to protect members physical health but mental health is a massive priority for us. We have magnificent trainers, Mental Health First Aiders and 'leads' in every region building essential support networks.’

He further spoke to the CWU’s national journal The Voice, telling them:

"The CWU is doing tireless work to support our members we have trained around 7oo reps and are busy building support networks in every region. Our mental health leads are doing a fantastic job in increasingly difficult circumstances and I thank each and every one of them. If any member is having difficulty, please reach out, we are here to help."

Steve Croke on Twitter posted a video message “.. from some of our newly trained MHFAs proud to have worked with delivering the @MHFAEngland online learning to some of our most inspirational People!”


Source: CWU / Jamie McGovern / Steve Jones / Twitter

Pic: Bak to News icon link

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