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CSP urges unions to join TUC disabled workers in campaign for equality for mental health services

29 May 2014 - 3:45pm

The CSP has called for better training for healthcare students on mental health issues, and wants to see unions campaigning for greater equality between mental and physical healthcare.

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Cliff Towson, co-convenor of the CSP Disabled Members Network. Photo: Rod Leon

A CSP motion at this week’s TUC Disabled Workers’ Conference also urged unions to raise awareness of mental health as a workplace issue.

Cliff Towson, co-convenor of the CSP Disabled Members Network, told the conference that cuts to health funding in England had had a disproportionate effect on mental health services.

He said a BBC freedom of information request had revealed a real terms cut in spending of two per cent across mental health trusts in England over the past two years, while referrals to crisis and community health teams had risen by 16 per cent. 

‘In the CSP we are aware of the role that physiotherapy plays in helping treat people with mental health conditions in both mental health and non-mental health settings,’ he said.

‘I urge the TUC and affiliates to redouble our efforts for better healthcare and improved rights for those experiencing mental health issues at work.’

CSP national officer for equalities, Saraka Keating, addressed the conference in support of a motion that called for a campaign against the use of zero hours contracts.

She told delegates: ‘It is common to see members working full time for years on a zero hour contracts. These “casual” workers are clearly being used as employees but are denied the rights associated with employee status such as paid holidays, maternity pay and sick pay.’   

  • Mr Towson was re-elected to the TUC disability committee

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