Human service workers face many hurdles as they dedicate themselves to delivering the best services possible – whether working with clients with mental health or developmental disabilities. For many workers, workplace safety is a serious issue that too often is not properly addressed.
One year ago, human service worker Stephanie Moulton was allegedly killed by a mentally ill client in Revere, MA. Since Stephanie’s tragic death, her family, mental health advocates and coworkers have been working on key legislative initiatives that would improve safety in the mental health system.
One such bill, “Stephanie’s Law,” would require Department of Mental Health facilities in Massachusetts to be equipped with panic buttons. These panic buttons – which would be used to call for help in the event of an emergency – could save lives.
SEIU Local 509 is joining human service workers, families, and advocates to mark the anniversary of Stephanie’s death and to commemorate her birthday with events across the state, including a candlelight vigil on February 8th at 6:30 p.m. in Peabody, MA. The events will highlight the need for measures to prevent and respond to threats to worker safety in the mental health system.
We know that human service workers across the country struggle with safety issues every day. We want to hear about your personal experiences with workplace safety so that we can help raise awareness and implement safety policies that will help protect human service workers and clients. By sharing stories from workers, advocates and clients across the country, we can help policy makers understand the scope of the problem and the impact on the quality of care.
If you have a story about workplace safety, please share it with us. By putting a human face on the problem, we can build the momentum we need to get policy makers to take action now to improve safety and services. Click here to share your personal story about workplace safety.