FSU and AWARE Launch new initiative on World Mental Health Day

Issued : 10 October 2016

FSU - AWARE Partnership

The Financial Services Union is investing in the health of thousands of employees in the sector in a bid to promote positive mental wellbeing in the workplace.


Today, on World Mental Health Day (October 10th), the Financial Services Union launched a two-year partnership with mental health charity, AWARE. The partnership with the charity, will help the Union expand its support services to all members of the union.


Depression rates in Northern Ireland are the highest in the UK with the overall prevalence of mental illness an estimated 25% higher than in England. Mental illness is costing the Northern Ireland economy almost £31 million each year and the long-term risk to business is huge.


General Secretary, Larry Broderick, believes there is no better time to invest in workplace health.


“Stress in the workplace continues to be a major feature across the financial service’s sector.  Research has found that respondents from the industry were in the bottom 20% for workplace wellbeing compared to other businesses in Ireland and the UK.


“As a Union we have a responsibility to act on behalf of our members.  With the new AWARE partnership we are making an immediate and significant investment in the mental health of thousands of financial service workers.


“This is the most significant wellbeing initiative which the Union has entered into, reflecting the seriousness of the problem.  We will also continue to work with employers to ensure that together we proactively address the levels of poor wellbeing in an industry which is under constant strain.”


As part of the two-year partnership, AWARE will deliver ‘Mental Health First Aid Programmes’ to Union members to raise awareness of the issue and reduce stigma associated with mental health.  It will also build upon existing FSU initiatives.


Siobhan Doherty is the Chief Executive of AWARE and said,


“We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Financial Services Union. Becoming a charity partner with an organisation such as the FSU is important for us in reaching out to more people with depression.


“We hope that through the delivery of programmes such as ‘AWARE Mood Matters in the Workplace’ and Mental Health First Aid, that we can help create a healthy working environment for all FSU members.


“We have already received a great deal of support from FSU members who have helped us raise awareness and much needed funds by participating in AWARE’s fundraising events.  We look forward to working closely with them over the next two years.”