No capitalist solution to workplace mental health issues
The charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness have set up a campaign called “Time to Change” which, although not instantly recognisable, is aimed at increasing dialogue around mental health issues in the workplace.
The campaign suggests several pledges, most of them around management encouraging and initiating dialogue, but nothing about what the boss can do to actually reduce workplace stress and workplace related mental Ill health.
This campaign seems at best a sticking plaster to a capitalist system that uses workers to the benefit of the bosses and the rich, and at worst an excuse for a shoddy employer who has no real concern for the wellbeing of its employees.
Mind’s local groups can be very helpful to individuals, but nationally, we believe that this campaign fails to challenge the causes of mental ill-health. And worse, it collaborates with the Department for Work and Pensions in its punitive regime towards benefit claimants.
Our experience on London Underground is that bosses make the right noises about taking mental health seriously, but still manage us in ways that seem almost deliberately calculated to make our mental health worse.
Here are some brief suggestions Tubeworker has on how significant improvement could be made for the mental health of the London Underground workforce: