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New CPA toolkit provides support to Commonwealth Parliaments for the promotion of positive mental health for MPs and parliamentary staff

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) has launched the Mental Health Toolkit for Commonwealth Parliaments to guide, advise and educate Parliaments and Legislatures on how to improve their response to mental health issues experienced by Members of Parliament and parliamentary staff.

The new toolkit addresses the unique mental health stressors that Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff face in their working lives, including long working hours, intense public scrutiny and online abuse via social media. It provides practical approaches, tailored to parliamentary workplaces, that can be employed to protect and promote good mental health and wellbeing.

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Mental Health Toolkit for Commonwealth Parliaments:

This toolkit provides guidance, advice and education on how to protect and promote the mental health and well-being of Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff.

If you plan to use this toolkit to improve the mental health support available in your Parliament, or you've recently introduced new mental health initiatives, we'd love to hear about it! Let us know ->

To browse the toolkit on ISSUU, our online reading platform, click here ->

The publication draws upon contemporary mental health research, established best practices and relevant case studies from more than 20 Commonwealth jurisdictions, including: the United Kingdom, Australian Capital Territory, Malaysia, Northern Ireland, Canada, Northern Territory, Gauteng, Victoria, Québec, Ontario, Manitoba, Isle of Man, Tasmania and Guernsey.

Featuring guidance on several elements of effective mental health promotion, the CPA toolkit sets out options for implementing screening processes, initiatives to address common workplace issues, organisational support systems and self-help resources.

 

 

It also considers the impact of COVID-19 on the response of Parliaments to mental health issues. The pandemic has increased risk factors such as financial insecurity, and disrupted protective factors such as social connection, access to physical exercise, and daily routine, triggering a global decline in overall mental health.

Introducing the CPA toolkit, Hon. Louisa Wall MP, a founding member of a cross-party mental health support group in the New Zealand Parliament, thanked the CPA for “providing a resource to specifically address parliamentary workplace stresses and challenges.” She added that:

“We need to better understand the risk factors and the protective factors to keep ourselves and those we work with mentally fit and well to undertake our duties as parliamentary representatives.”

The CPA Secretary-General, Stephen Twigg, said:

“The CPA recognises the impact that COVID-19 has had on mental health over the past two years. I encourage Commonwealth Parliaments to utilise this new CPA toolkit to support and improve their work on the mental health and wellbeing of their Members of Parliament and parliamentary staff.” 

The new toolkit supports the CPA’s commitment to, and contribution towards, the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the Commonwealth Charter. It has been produced under the auspices of the Commonwealth Parliamentarians with Disabilities (CPwD) network, in recognition of the fact that, in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the CPA Headquarters Secretariat recognises long-term mental health issues as disabilities.

-ENDS-

The Commonwealth Parliamentarians with Disabilities (CPwD) network, within the wider Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, facilitates activities and programmes to champion and increase the representation of persons with disabilities in Commonwealth Parliaments and works towards the mainstreaming of disability considerations in all CPA activities and programmes. The network supports elected representatives with disabilities in 180 Parliaments and Legislatures across the Commonwealth and ensures that issues of persons with disabilities are brought to the fore in parliamentary debate and legislation.

For media enquiries, please contact communications@cpahq.org.
Further Resources

CPwD Publications

Mental Health Toolkit for Commonwealth Parliaments

This toolkit provides guidance, advice and education on how to protect and promote the mental health and well-being of Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff.

CPwD Disability Inclusion Guidelines - Linguistic Principles

The CPwD Disability Inclusion Guidelines provide guidance to Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures on how to enhance and sensitize their communications with persons with disabilities.

CPwD Disability Inclusion Guidelines - Facilities of Inclusion

The CPwD Disability Inclusion Guidelines provide guidance to Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures on how to enhance and sensitize their communications with persons with disabilities.

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