World Mental Health Day report
Members of the TUC Disabled Members Forum attended Derby University's event to promote the work trade unions do to support members with mental health problems on World Mental Health Day. The TUC was one of twenty or so organisations that exhibited their work to students and staff alike at the new campus at Markeaton.
World Mental Health Day is observed in more than 100 countries on October 10 through local, regional and national World Mental Health Day commemorative events and programs.
World Mental Health Day is an initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH). The World Health Organisation (WHO), which is the UN's directing and coordinating authority for health, supports this event. The Mental Health Foundation is another organisation that is proactive in promoting World Mental Health Day.
Mental disorders affect nearly 12 percent of the world's population. About 450 million, or one out of every four people around the world, will experience a mental illness that would benefit from diagnosis and treatment. WHO statistics for 2002 showed that 154 million people globally suffered from depression, which is a form of mental illness. According to WHO, mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which people realise their own potential, can cope with normal life stresses, can work productively, and can contribute to their community.
Mental health services lack human and financial resources in many countries, particularly low and middle income countries. More funding is needed to promote mental health to increase people's awareness of the issue. In response to making mental health a global priority, World Health Day was first celebrated in 1992 as an initiative of the WFMH, which has members and contacts in more than 150 countries. Each year the UN, through WHO, actively participates in promoting this event.
The TUC fears that spending cuts are undermining the increasing recognition of the extent of mental ill health problems we have seen in the workplace in recent years, and the measures that have been taken in response.
Across the Midlands local authority and NHS mental health services are falling victim to budget cuts, and people are losing vital support mechanisms which were helping them stay in or get back into work.
On top of this, the stress arising for many workers from the massive job cuts in the public sector, and the uncertainty hanging over those who remain, is not conducive to healthy workplaces.
It is important that mental ill health in the workplace is seen as a trade union issue. The fact that this was discussed at our recent Disabled workers conference shows that the trade union movement takes this seriously - and will work to support our members where they have need.
So when I was asked along with my colleague to promote Mental Health at Derby University from the TUC point of view this was a challenge for me to meet other organisations that support people with Mental Health issues and talk to them to see what they are doing to help and speak to the Students, give out booklets on Mental health issues at the university and share experiences on these issues. I know how hard it is to cope when things start to go wrong and depression sets in due to Marriage break ups and the discrimination by bosses at work and other issues in the work place I was lucky I had a good supportive network with My Doctor the NHS Primary Health Trust and My Regional Officer Stefan Blasczyk who was in touch every day until I was feeling better but some people haven't got the support I had.
I know we can all go to meetings but what's more important is getting out into communities and workplace to support our members I would like to thank Derbyshire NHS Trust and Derby University for taking the time to organise this event I know I gained a lot more knowledge from the people who attended and I hope that the TUC through me and my colleague gave them a better understanding of Mental Health from a Union point of view.
Chairman Unite the Union
West Midlands Regional Disability Committee
TUC Member West Midlands Disability Committee
World Aids Day events
The 2012 fundraising events were bigger and more ambitious - with two fundraising events ... hitting the LGBT Students in the West Midlands @ Sidewalk Bar Birmingham on 29 November and hitting the LGBT scene in the East Midlands @ Queen Of Clubs Nottingham on 1 December 2012.
A hand full of keen volunteers helped make the events go smoothly on both evenings and thanks to them for their hard work and commitment.
We also have over £350 already received by the office, and I am aware that at least £500 more of pledged money is on its way from UNITE regional finance officers and UNITE branch committees.
I hope that the event this year will raise over £1000 to support our selected charity in Leicester. We have focused on Leicester again this year as it has the third highest rate of HIV infections in the UK, the worst area to catch HIV if you are LGBT and living in the Midlands - shocking I know!
This year we have the TUC LGBT Midlands Network also working hard on making this year a success and I know both our Disability Network and LGBT Network will be looking forward to presenting the charity with a presentation cheque sometime around March 2013 (allowing for cheques to arrive etc).
Alex De Winter
TUC Disabled Members Forum
And don't forget the Blog......
We are publishing all our media releases on our blog: http://midlandstucmedia.blogspot.com/
This includes links to the False Economy website where cuts information is added on a daily basis:
Our website address is: http://www.tuc.org.uk/tuc/regions_info_midlands.cfm
You can also follow us on Twitter @MidlandsTUC
Contact the Midlands TUC
E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 0121 262 6383
Published by TUC Midlands Region, 24 Livery Street, Birmingham B3 2PA
Copyright in this publication is held by the TUC unless otherwise stated. For more copies of this newsletter contact Michelle Kesterton on tel: 0121 262 6383 or email@example.com
This text may also be made available, on request, in accessible formats such as Braille, audiotape and large print, at no extra cost.
Issued: 7 January, 2013