CWU Reps Guide to Work And Suicide Booklet 2018

CWU Reps Guide to Work And Suicide Booklet 2018

Please see attached pdf copy of the new CWU Reps Guide to Work And Suicide Booklet 2018


Every year in the UK around 6,000 people end their own lives – well over three times the number of people who die on the UK’s roads. Unions and Union Reps can have a role to play in helping prevent suicides and supporting those who are in distress and may have suicidal thoughts. There can be few more tragic issues that a union representative has to deal with than the suicide of a fellow worker. Fortunately, this is something that most union representatives will never encounter but the issue of suicide is an important one and can often be linked to issues such as workplace stress, bullying or harassment.

There are two main areas where union representatives can help make it less likely that someone in their workplace will end their lives. These are:


Union Reps can try to ensure that the workplace is not contributing to a person’s mental health problems by tackling issues such as stress, bullying and harassment. They can also ensure that the employer’s processes and policies, which are there to help identify individuals stressed and at risk, and to help and support them, are deployed and made available to those in need.

Supporting individuals

Union Reps and Health and Safety Representatives are not be expected to be qualified counsellors or clinicians. But often they are the person that a Union member trusts and they will contact when they have a problem and Union Representatives can support these people and ensure that they know the Union is there for them and will ensure they know where they can get help. Also, by knowing what warning signs to look out for, sometimes Reps can make sure that they know where to get help.

Finally, let’s not forget the great work that trade unions do to help prevent stress, long hours, low pay, bullying, harassment and job insecurity which already goes a long way towards helping prevent workers from feeling depressed and that is a major part of the TUC ‘Great Jobs Agenda’ which CWU fully supports.


I would like to thank ‘Rethink Mental Illness’, ‘Mind’, ‘CALM’, ‘SANE’, ‘Papyrus’, ‘Samaritans’ and Dan Shears for their input and assistance with this Guidance Booklet.

Hard Copy Orders of the Guide Booklet

Branches and Regions can either download and print their own copies of the booklet or order bulk copies from CWU/HQ as follows:-


Debby Ackerman
Print Services Manager
T: 0208 971 7218

Cost Per Booklet: £1.06


X 20 Copies X 50 Copies X 100 Copies
1st Class £5.27 £15.85 £ Parcelforce
2nd Class £2.72 £13.75 £16.86
These prices are for Postage Only. Packaging is not included and will depend on size of package.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer



Don’t be afraid to approach someone you think isn’t coping or if you’re worried about them. Try to get them to talk. Just listening and showing that you care and take it seriously will be a positive step towards supporting and helping them.

18LTB224 CWU Reps Guide to Work And Suicide Booklet 2018

CWU GUIDE WORK AND SUICIDE v2 January 2018 (3)

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