In this issue:
• E+D in the news
• Prevent Duty
• Mental Health
Equality and diversity is so much more than just “treating everyone the same” …
Equality and diversity enhances everyday life and simple changes to normal activities can ensure all individuals are included and given equal opportunities to achieve. Our newsletter offers updates on E&D, Safeguarding, Prevent Duty, Mental Health Awareness, and Health and Safety, as either found in the news or highlighted as our topic of the month.
Equality and Diversity in the news
The Diversity Trap – Politician David Lammy has accused Oxford and Cambridge Universities of racial bias and then refused to listen to their explanation…they only accept those with the top grades. Diversity quotas have led to preferential policies that have allegedly made it “easier for those that identify as a minority” and harder for those that don’t. An American study showed that people with an Asian or White ethnicity appeared to need a higher score in their SATs then African-American students in order to have the same odds of being admitted to an elite University. Diversity quotas have led to many believing the idea of choosing a candidate purely on their merit is a negative thing without first considering Diversity.
Diversity is about accepting the differences between people and using those differences to your advantage. Diversity in the workplace has massive benefits, but preferential policies could be considered positive discrimination and could be considered not complying with the Equality Act 2010. Food for thought.
The Prevent Duty
Under the Prevent Strategy, NHS Staff are now trained to monitor terminally ill patients and their visitors and report any signs of radicalisation.
The Prevent Duty’s role in the NHS arguably “pushes the focus away from providing care and support to those who need it and redirects it to counter-terrorism and surveillance”. This new focus could bring strain on the relationship between the patient and medical professional, a relationship that is built on trust, but is clearly an important focus for those working with the most vulnerable within society.
Of course, it is not only the NHS that are monitoring for signs of radicalisation. In 2016 it was reported that 2,000 young children were reported to Prevent officers by teachers, which is pretty shocking. In 2016, The National Union of Teachers voted to scrap Prevent as it affects the quality of service and undermines the trust between student and teacher, causing “suspicion in the classroom and confusion in the staffroom”.
The National Union of Teachers also reported that the training teachers are provided is ineffective, crude and full of stereotypes. Legitimate signs of radicalisation that teachers have been instructed to monitor include:
- Hiding a Quran in the bedroom
- Changing friends
- Changing appearance
- Feeling persecuted
Remember those all-important contact numbers:
Anti-Terrorism Hotline: 0800 789 321
Crime Stoppers: 0800 555 111
And above all, be vigilant! If in doubt report anything suspicious to 101 or 999.
Monday 25th June marks the start of Safeguarding week across West Yorkshire. The event is being backed by the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner and will include workshops covering a variety of issues like:
- Domestic abuse
- Mental Health
- Forced marriage
The week aims to raise awareness of issues people may be facing, how to support victims of issues and the amazing work done by agencies across the county that provide support and guidance.
The Church of England has enlisted the help of a Safeguarding Specialist from the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) to improve the way they treat victims of abuse and those at risk of harm.
The SCIE has stated that “if the Church has any chance of improving how they treat victims they must first hear from victims that have had first-hand experience”. They have released a survey for those that have suffered abuse to anonymously answer and provide their experiences, either good or bad.
The SCIE fully appreciate that survivors will have painful experiences and strong feelings about their personal cases and that their survey is not intended to collect the testimonials of experiences with The Church, but instead aims to gather the views and perspectives of what should happen at different stages of engagement.
Answers to the survey can be submitted anonymously at https://www.scie.org.uk/opportunities/callsforevidence/cofe-survivors.asp any submitted by June 30th will be used at a General Synod discussion in July and they will continue to accept responses after that date.
“A state of well-being in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community” – a description of mental health by the World Health Organisation.
Mental health is considered one of the hardest to monitor and recognise, but without positive mental health people don’t work as effectively and they can struggle to enjoy life as they should.
Mind.org.uk, a leading charity for those suffering with mental health problems, have written an article called “5 Ways to Wellbeing” and breaks this down into 5 categories:
- Be active
- Take notice
More information can be found at https://www.mind.org.uk/workplace/mental-health-at-work/taking-care-of-yourself/five-ways-to-wellbeing/
Also, have you ever considered looking at your diet? Studies show that nutrients such as Iron (found in red meat, beans, fortified grains like bread), Vitamin B (found in eggs, fish, poultry and dairy) and Selenium (found in meats, fish, poultry and seeds) can all help to improve your mental health and general mood. Why not give it a go!