Breaking the stigma of mental ill health in a workplace context - ICTU Annual Disability Seminar

13 Feb 2019


 On Thursday 14 and Friday 15 February 2019, trade union delegates from across the island of Ireland will gather for the Irish Congress of Trade Unions Annual Disability Seminar in the Clayton Hotel, Belfast.

Anxiety and stress has now become the second most common reason for sickness across the workforce as a whole, totalling 30% of all absences. The Seminar will focus on breaking the stigma of mental ill health in a workplace context, as well as exploring how workers can be supported and what can be done when work becomes a source of ill health.

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Deirdre Hargey said:

“Mental ill health is a very serious and prominent issue in today’s society and needs to be tackled head on. I commend the Irish Congress of Trade Unions for their work in shining a light on the issue and exploring how vulnerable people in the workplace can be given access to the support they need to overcome mental ill health.”

Assistant General Secretary of the ICTU Owen Reidy will tell delegates from workplaces across the public and private sectors that:

“We hear a lot about breaking the stigma when it comes to talking about mental health but I think that we must acknowledge that for many people to admit to having mental ill health in a workplace context leaves them incredibly vulnerable.  That is why the trade union movement must work with employers and others to ensure there are adequate protections and support as well as normalisation and mainstreaming of mental health issues.” 

The Seminar will be addressed by the Equality Commission NI, employers, mental health organisations as well as a range of Trade Union leaders and activists.