Royal Mail Group (RMG)/CWU Agreement – Mental Health First Aid Training for Physical/Medical First Aiders and CWU Area Health and Safety Representatives: (Part Of The Royal Mail Group 5-Year Mental Health Strategy)
LTBs 533/17, 543/17, 649/17 and 088/2018 reported on the launch of and updates on Royal Mail Group’s 5-Year Mental Health Strategy which the CWU are fully engaged and involved with. In October 2017 Royal Mail Group launched the new 5-Year Mental Health Strategy with the full involvement and support of the CWU and the strategy has been making good progress with another milestone reached this month with major agreement on Mental Health First Aid Training.
Through the launch of the Royal Mail Group “Because Healthy Minds Matter” five-year mental health strategy in 2017/18, led by Dr. Shaun Davis, RMG Global Director of Safety, Health, Wellbeing and Sustainability, Royal Mail Group are committed to combine both Group-wide programmes and local activities to support healthy minds. Royal Mail Group (RMG) is also committed, through positive leadership influence, to implementing effective support strategies and tools that can make a positive difference to those in the workforce who are directly or indirectly affected by mental health issues. The strategies and activities will have full CWU involvement, input and support at national and local level.
RMG 5-Year Mental Health Strategy – “Because Healthy Minds Matter” key aims in summary are to:
• Make Royal Mail Group mental health friendly
• Increase awareness
• Decrease stigma
• Provide access to tools and support (for managers and staff)
• Make sure managers and staff know where to go in a crisis
In summary, so far Royal Mail Group’s Occupational Health Team have; completed senior leadership mental-health engagement sessions across the business, launched an internal multi-media communication campaign, launched a new mandatory e-learning course for all managers, trained hundreds of managers on Mental Health First Aid, rolled out new mental health support ‘z-cards’ or pocket cards to all of the Royal Mail Group’s workforce, promoted Royal Mail’s Feeling First Class and Employee Assistance Services, launched the new local mental-health ambassadors network and launched a new ‘Everyday People’ mental health video.
The CWU Health, Safety and Environment Department has been seeking to ensure that there are trained Mental Health First Aid colleagues in all workplaces who know how give initial support and to point people in distress, in the direction of appropriate help needed. Royal Mail Group’s Global Director of Safety, Health, Wellbeing & Sustainability and the Group Head of Health and Wellbeing agree with that objective – full credit to Shaun Davis and Rachel Boon.
A Mental Health First Aider is a volunteer person in the workplace or organisation who has been trained to identify, understand and help someone who may be in distress and be experiencing a mental health issue. They are not a therapist, psychiatrist or clinician, they are someone who is able to listen, converse, reassure and respond, even in a crisis – and even potentially stop a crisis from happening. This is because they’ve received training to recognise warning signs of mental ill health, and have developed the basic skills to support someone and signpost them to professional help and support.
I am pleased to formally announce that reflecting this commitment, and following on from the success of mental health activity since the October 2017 Strategy launch, Royal Mail Group has agreed to upskill all physical/medical first aiders with Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training. This will involve approximately 5,500 CWU Members who are First Aid volunteers across the UK.
In addition, all CWU Area Health and Safety Representatives in all Royal Mail Group Businesses and Business Units, approximately 150 Health and Safety Reps, will be included in the programme and will be able to attend the MHFA training courses also.
The training will be provided by in-house, accredited, licensed MHFA instructors. RMG is planning to increase its capacity and availability of the MHFA training courses ready to launch this large, ambitious programme for our physical/medical first aiders and Area Health and Safety Reps, starting later this year (estimated to start in quarter three 2018/19.
In April 2018, CWU Conference carried Composite Motion 69 to establish a comprehensive “CWU Mental Health Strategy”. This agreed programme makes a positive contribution to the Union’s strategy.
Further joint RMG/CWU communications including details of how First Aiders and CWU Health and Safety Reps are able to register and attend the courses will be made available in due course, in the near future.
The MHFA specially designed 1-day course will be provided and matches that which is currently offered by Mental Health First Aid England and is a condensed version of the standard 2-day MHFA (England) training course.
• Joint Statement between Royal Mail Group and CWU – Mental Health First Aid Training for Physical First Aiders and CWU Area Health and Safety Representatives
• Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Course Summary Description.
• Motion 69(2018)
Further updates will be issued as appropriate.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer