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Mental Health Awareness week – blog

As we come to the end of mental health awareness week, our branch secretary has been reflecting on how the Coronavirus pandemic has affected him.

Working through this pandemic I have found it difficult as I have had to change my way of working. In the middle of March, like many of our members I was advised to work from home.
Being used to handling paperwork in negotiations to protect members terms and conditions and when looking at casework, I’m not ashamed to admit I was worried. How would doing all my work through computer work? How could I best represent members? Not many people are aware that I have dyslexia and having paperwork helps when doing my job, reading information on paper format is easier for myself.
This increased my stress and anxiety levels but although I still find it difficult, with the support of branch reps and having GMB’s neurodiversity toolkit to hand I have been able to adapt to these new ways of working.
Throughout this lockdown period I, like many others have felt isolated. I live on own and being in one place for a long period of time has been difficult. I’ve not seen my parents, friends or children face to face for 10 weeks now and I have been worried for them all, but i am thankful for video technology. I have also found going out for daily walks has helped.
Working from home and being forced to change my lifestyle has been extremely difficult and has had a large affect on my wellbeing and health. But I know I am not alone.
I can pick up the phone and know there will be someone to talk to, whether that be friends, family or my GMB comrades and you are not alone either. -Darren James, GMB Sandwell Branch Secretary
If you need support or advice please speak to someone
If you need urgent advice call 999 or Samaritans on 116 123


Posted: 24th May 2020

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