Mental Health Wellbeing – it affects us allOctober 7 2015
On Sunday (22 March), I was incredibly honoured to move a motion calling for better support and awareness, of mental ill health, to the TUC Young Workers Conference. However, the response from delegates at conference completely blew me away, along with the rest of conference. It made me realise ever more than before, how important it is we raise the profile of mental ill health, and eradicate the stigmatisation of sufferers of these conditions.
The brave and inspiring contributions gave me a glimpse into the effects of these conditions. I was honoured that those delegates shared their experiences. But each one highlighted the lack of public understanding and provision of services to help people – this was quite upsetting. How as a society have we come to fail people with mental health issues? Why do people stigmatise and discriminate against sufferers?
A survey by the charity MIND found that on average, less than 1.5% of public health budgets is spent on mental health; prompting criticism that funding for mental health is at an unacceptably low level in comparison with funding for physical health issues.
As a movement we are renowned for standing up for the rights of some of our most vulnerable in society, yet I feel we do not take the issue of mental ill health as seriously as we should. We are encouraging other unions with assistance from the TUC to help tackle mental health issues in the workplace, often exacerbated by managerial bullying, precarious working conditions and financial uncertainty by raising awareness and publishing charities there to help individuals with mental health conditions.