In a study carried out by GMB’s Young Members’ Network, it was revealed that there was an alarming upward trend in young people suffering from mental health issues as a result of bad working conditions.
As part of the GMB’s ‘Mental Health Matters’ campaign they are speaking out on Suicide Prevention Day (Sunday, September 10th) to highlight the need for improved workplace conditions.
Beccie Ions, the GMB’s Young Members’ Mental Health Campaign Coordinator says: “There is no ignoring that the rates of suicide in Britain are on the rise; it's time for us to speak up and make a stand. With increasing job insecurity, the proliferation of zero-hours contracts, low wages and the exacerbation of workplace conditions, is it any wonder that we as young trade unionists keep raising the issue of mental health.”
According to the Centre for Mental Health1 in 6 in employment are considered to experience stress, anxiety or depression at some stage. This is brought to the forefront of the mind when you consider that according to MIND 20% of employees in the UK take a day off work stating stress as the cause. A further 95% lie about their reason for absence.
Joe Wheatley, GMB Youth Network Representative says: “Given the weight of the problems impacting on workers from long hours, poor conditions, abusive managers, decreased funding resources and a growing job insecurity it is understandable that such conditions can at times leave individuals feeling isolated and seemingly powerless to do anything about changing those workplace conditions. That is why we continue to encourage everyone to join a trade union so you never have to stand alone in the workplace and you’ll have the support of the union to stand up for better workplace conditions.”
“The GMB has been and continue to campaign and lobby Parliament to introduce Mental Health legislation to ensure mental health is treated with the seriousness it deserves in the workplace. This is about people’s lives and making sure that our working environments provide a place of safety and belonging for all workers from all backgrounds.”
“We encourage all businesses to take up mantle of responsibility to improve their workplaces, to stay vigilant and attentive to their staff, to train managers to act responsibly and appropriately to situations where mental health is a consideration. If businesses are unwilling to lead the way in providing safe and secure work environments for people, we encourage all those not yet already to join a union and join us in the campaign to improve workplace conditions.”
For further comment please contact: Joe Wheatley - GMB Youth Network Representative (m) 07598946673 (e) [email protected]