The CWU's campaigning on Mental Health support started in ernest last year following an emotional debate concerning the enormous cost to lives, the lack of support and understanding in the workplace is causing.
The North West has been leading on the issue of making mental health support via it's Union Safety Reps, an issue in the workplace, and in private too when USRs and Area Safety Reps find themselves dealing with a member's health crisis.
A key event took place today, and during this year's Mental health Awareness week - the very first meeting of CWU/Royal Mail Mental Health Ambassadors who are USRs employed in Royal Mail, and involving two union Branches in the North West.
Mark Holt, Area Health and Safety Representative with CWU North West No1 Branch told Unionsafety:
"On the back of a branch wide Mental Health Awareness campaign started last year I that I run, and from the formation of a Listeners group set up in Bolton North; I have been doing some joint work with the Delivery Director and HR in regard to setting up a group of RM/CWU Mental Health Ambassadors.
I now have a agreement with the business to train 12 CWU Reps/Members on the two day Mental Health First Aid course, Royal Mail are also funding the release."
Explaining the aim of this work, Mark said:
"The plan is to have a joint group of ambassadors for the North West which will be trained and then meet every three months. We have our first start up meeting next Wednesday to discuss the vision going forward and to outline the roles of ambassadors."
" We are also looking to set up a quiet room in Oldham MPU. This room will be there for members who need a little time away from things. The vision is that the room will have various signposting materials in and will also be used for our future meetings for Mental Health Ambassadors."
In closing, he said:
"The agreement for training has 4 CWU reps from Manchester Branch, 6 Reps from North West No1 branch and 2 CWU members who volunteered as listeners from Bolton North."
The Unionsafety E-Library contains numerous documents on Mental Health for download by USRs and anyone cocnerned about supporting those with mental health issues. Use search word: 'Mental Health'
Source: Mark Holt / Unionsafety