BT PERSONNEL – CWU Representatives and Officers Mental Ill Health Survey
Attached, for the information of the BT Committee, are the outputs of a Mental Ill Health Survey of Branch Representatives and Officers. The purpose of the survey was to understand what mental ill health awareness, guidance or training the representatives have and what they may need to deal with mental ill health issues raised with them from members and other representatives.
The motivation for the survey was Motions 35, 71, and 76 carried at this year’s Conference and the concerns raised by Branches. In order to deal with the issue the team believed we needed to understand how well equipped representatives are to deal with the increasing workload related to mental ill health.
The outputs give valuable insights into the number of representatives who have, or have not, had awareness guidance and training. 128 people responded in total which is approximately 25% of the total number of representatives.
Below is a brief summary of the outputs from the questions.
1. Have you had any form of mental health awareness guidance or training?
All those completing the survey answered the question. 56.7% said YES and 43.3% answered NO.
2. What was the training/guidance you received?
72 people answered this question with 62.5% having undertaken Mental First Aid courses and 37.5% attended other types of courses.
3. Was the training/guidance provided through the CWU, your employer or another party?
Again 72 people answered this question with 61.1% undertaking training with the CWU, 8.0% employer, 9.7% both employer and CWU and 20.8% other.
4. Do you feel that you need mental health awareness guidance/training?
126 people answered this question; 81% of people feel they need guidance and training with 19% not needing further training.
5. What level of training do you feel that you need?
102 people answered the question with 41.2% needing introductory training, 39.2% needing advanced training and 19.6% needing refresher training.
6. Do you think the CWU should provide mental health awareness guidance/training to its representatives?
126 people responded to this question with 98.8% giving a YES response and 3.2% a NO response.
7. Do you think the CWU should be calling on your employer to provide you with mental health awareness guidance/training?
127 seven people responded with 92.1% with a YES response and 7.9% with a NO response.
8. Are there any particular areas of mental health awareness guidance/ training you feel would be helpful to you? (Tick all that apply)
All the five sub questions received high scores with ‘signposting members to get the support they need’ receiving the highest score of 92.7%.
9. What proportion of your time is taken up with mental health issues raised by members?
The answers to this question received percentage scores from 1% to 23% of time taken up dealing with mental ill health issues.
10. Please add any further comments related to your experiences or training needs.
The responses from this question were really useful in helping us determine what representatives need in the way of guidance, awareness and training but also some concerning comments from Branch Officers about their own mental health.
There were 130 comments made with reference to an increasing workload on this issue and a realistic point that Branch Officers need to guide members to experts rather than try to deal with the issue themselves. There is also reference to young people being more likely to raise mental ill health problems.
Most respondents felt that awareness, guidance and training is a help in dealing with the issue, and if the response rate is reflective of our representative base then we have at least 50% of Branch representatives having some form of mental ill health awareness.
In conclusion, this survey has been a valuable exercise. The Personnel Team will respond to the needs of our Branch officials and to make the membership aware that a significant number of their representatives have the awareness to guide them to the help they need. Some of this work has already started.