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Focus on mental health in UK Young Workers’ Week

Retail trade union Usdaw has launched its Young Workers’ Week, an opportunity for union reps and activists to reach out to young workers and share the campaigning work that Usdaw does.

The Week runs from 14 – 20 March and this year’s focus is mental health in the workplace.

Over 180 events will be taking place in workplaces, colleges and at street stalls, recruiting young workers to Usdaw and encouraging them to play an active role in the union.

 In addition, Usdaw reps are being encouraged to talk to their young colleagues at work about the campaign, using the Usdaw Young Workers Mental Health Survey

Being in work can be positive, providing us with better financial security, more structure and an increased sense of purpose. Many jobs also provide opportunities to meet new people, socialise with colleagues and create friendships and connections that can continue outside work.

However other aspects of work, such as short and unpredictable hours, low pay and dealing with abusive customers can have a toll on mental health. Young people’s jobs were hit the hardest during the pandemic and many are now experiencing financial pressure because of the cost-of-living crisis.

Paddy Lillis, Usdaw General Secretary, said: 

“Young workers are much less likely to speak to someone at work about how they feel or ask for help. Trade union reps can help and support members when it’s needed most. Our reps play a crucial role in ensuring members have a say in their work role and environment, to help keep them safe and promote good mental health.

“I wish our reps and activists well in their efforts to reach to young workers this week, which is an all-year-round priority for Usdaw.”

Usdaw has also written a short publication outlining what young workers need to know about their rights at work.

Photo by Christiann Koepke on Unsplash..

If you are struggling, there are always people you can talk to any time. In the UK, you can call Samaritans on 116 123 – calls are free any time, from any phone. ⁠Or you can text SHOUT to 85258.⁠

If you live in the USA, you can call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988, and you can also contact the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741).