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From The Socialist newspaper, 1 November 2017

300,000 a year forced to leave work

Unions must fight workplace mental health crisis

  (Click to enlarge)

Jac McAllister-Green, Northampton Socialist Party

Workers with mental health problems are leaving their workplaces at a rate of up to 300,000 a year.

For those of us who have suffered with poor mental health, the findings of the government's 'Thriving at Work' report are unsurprising.

Work is becoming more stressful. The financial uncertainty and instability of poverty pay, zero-hour or other insecure contracts, and bullying management is becoming more apparent.

Too many of us cannot cope with conditions in our workplaces. We are effectively forced into leaving jobs, finding ourselves at the mercy of a punishing 'welfare' system.

I have experienced this first-hand in more than one previous workplace. I can state with conviction it has a deleterious effect on your confidence. It makes you question your ability to do the job.

I was subject to workplace bullying in a public sector role. I was forced to explain bouts of absence to my colleagues - the presumption being my mental health issues were insignificant.

At the time, I was homeless, having been made redundant from another public sector job and unable to keep up with increasing living costs. I was sofa-surfing at friends' houses for a number of months.

My story is by no means unique. This is an all too common occurrence in austerity Britain. After five months, I was out of work once more.

6% of people with long-term mental health conditions move from employment to unemployment each quarter. For long-term physical conditions it's 3.5%.

On top of the huge human cost, the report attributes an economic cost of up to 99 billion a year to failure to support those with mental health problems.

The Socialist Party fights for full funding for the NHS, including massive expansion of mental health facilities, and an end to bullying and insecure work. There can be no doubt the rapid deterioration of morale in workplaces across the country is due to the draconian policies of the Tories and Blairites.

Increasingly, people have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet. Sometimes even that is not enough to cope with rising living costs. Claimants of in-work benefits are also on the rise. It is simply unacceptable that we are forced into this situation.

The Socialist Party campaigns within trade unions for effective action against poor pay and conditions, and for coordinated strikes to bring down this bosses' government.

The situation will only improve with a leadership willing to bring workers together to fight, demanding decent conditions and the right to real support at work.

Discussions include: mental health and young people - how would socialism be different?

Find out more and book tickets at socialism2017.net

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In The Socialist 1 November 2017:


What we think

Westminster sexual harassment scandal: symptom of a rotten system


International socialist news and analysis

Catalonia: Rajoy's furious response to proclamation of Republic


Socialism 2017

Socialism 2017: ideas to change the world


Socialist Party news and analysis

Robber bosses own $6trn

Fight for free education: join the budget day protests!

Tories u-turn on social housing benefit cap and borrowing to build

Unions must fight workplace mental health crisis

No to 'Carebnb' privatisation of hospital beds

Them and us

What we saw


Workplace news and analysis

Coordinated strike action on five rail networks against driver-only operation

Arriva bus workers' dispute continues

PCS pay cap ballot closes soon

North east England blacklisting conference success


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Teachers, students and parents demand an end to the schools funding crisis

The "club no-one wants to be part of" - march by families of those killed in police custody

Derby: expenses for councillors, cuts for everyone else

Health campaign groups come together in Barnsley to protest closures and downgrades in the NHS

Anger over plan to build housing on Yorkshire flood plain


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

New play celebrates Grunwick strike

Skipton show proves draw of socialist art

The Socialist inbox


 

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