Union raises issue as part of Mental Health Awareness Week
A union is offering care workers affected by the gruelling work of caring for Covid-19 patients courses on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
UNISON Cymru says care workers face a daily challenge to provide the best possible care to vulnerable people in what are often extremely challenging conditions.
Gareth John, UNISON Cymru Wales lead officer for training said:
“Care staff have been working under very tough conditions. Many lacked protective equipment; they see death and suffering at close quarters and they are worried they might infect their own families.
“Many care workers in the private or non-profit sectors don’t benefit from the same support and training other public service staff receive from their employers. UNISON stepped into that void, providing training very quickly and to a wide network.
“With Welsh government funding, we have been running courses for care workers on PTSD, trauma and bereavement workshops, stress resilience and mindfulness as well as Covid-19 e-learning.
“Providing knowledge and understanding allows people to deal with anxiety. Helping them develop skills means they will be more confident at dealing with difficult situations in the workplace. This shows the value of belonging to a trade union.”
Tanya Palmer, UNISON Cymru Wales regional secretary said:
“There is no doubt many will suffer Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. If they worked for the National Health Service, mental health support would be provided as a matter of course by their employer. This isn’t the case for many care workers.
“UNISON believes care workers should be held in equal esteem as their National Health Service colleagues. That means fair employment and training and a minimum rate of pay of £9.30 per hour so no-one suffers in-work poverty.”