excludingadultNew guidelines that aim to help employers to deal with mental health issues have been launched, as a report shows that 33% of young people are worried about their mental health.

GMB, Britain's general union, marked World Mental Health Day [October 10] by releasing guidelines – called Mental Health @Work – on how to deal with mental health issues in the workplace. GMB Young Members are also encouraging supporters to add a #mentalhealthmatters ribbon to their social media profiles to raise awareness of mental health issues in the workplace. 

GMB warned that the existing regulatory framework around occupational mental health is woefully inadequate and a key factor in workers being absent from the workplace due to mental health.

A Young Women’s Trust report, ‘No Country for Young Women’, last month reported 33% of young people feeling worried about their mental health – 29% of young men and 38% of young women (Young Women's Trust/Populus). The report also found that 28% of working young people worried about not having enough paid hours and 38% worried about their job security.

Beccie Ions, GMB Young Members secretary, said: “GMB is campaigning to show that mental health matters in the workplace as much as anywhere. One in 6 people experience a mental health issue at work - and due to increased pressures in the work place and cuts to funding for mental health services the challenges have become more acute. Stigma still dominates how we see mental health at work just as it does in wider society.

“We want to increase understanding of mental health and encourage employers to put into practice workplace policies to tackle stigma, provide support and improve their workers' wellbeing. We must not forget the positive difference a proactive and supportive approach from employers can make.

“GMB will continue fight against mental health services cuts so that people get the support they need. Until we change the way mental health is treated in wider society then it will continue to have a major impact, including on young workers feeling the strain. Let's see a proactive rather than reactive approach - and show that mental health matters.”

The GMB guidelines can be accessed here.