Elmbridge Borough Council has today signed an employer pledge with Time to Change, the growing social movement run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness which supports people to open up to mental health problems. By signing Elmbridge is committing to changing the way we all think and act about mental health in the workplace.
The signing ceremony took place with Councillor Mary Marshall, Portfolio Holder for Corporate and Community Development and Councillor Janet Turner, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Cultural Services pledging their support to Time to Change with an action plan of activity that will help to break the silence that surrounds mental health in the workplace.
Councillor Mary Marshall, said: “Elmbridge Borough Council takes the health and wellbeing of its staff extremely seriously and is proud to support the aims of Time to Change. We have committed to focusing on the health and wellbeing of employees, particularly around mental health and stress awareness. I would encourage other organisations to pledge support to this initiative.’’
Elmbridge joins the wide movement of over 450 organisations that have signed up to the Time to Change pledge, including E.ON, British Gas, Ernst & Young, Transport for London, Royal Mail, Barclays, Shell, Pepsico, the Church of England, Sunday Mirror, Marks and Spencer, and many NHS trusts, universities, and local authorities.
To raise awareness Elmbridge Borough Council staff have also undertaken a number of activities to encourage conversations about mental health, including a number of #runandtalk sessions at lunchtime.
Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change, said: “We know it can be hard to talk about mental health, which is why we’re supporting employers to open up; to talk and to listen. Too many people with mental health problems are made to feel isolated, ashamed and worthless, but with the right support, those of us with mental health problems can recover and have equal opportunities in all areas of life. Everyone’s attitude makes a difference and it’s fantastic to see organisations like Elmbridge Borough Council taking the lead.
“Many leading employers have found that making a strategic commitment to the mental wellbeing of their workforce not only benefits their staff but also their bottom-line, improving productivity and staff retention. With one in six British workers experiencing mental illness it's time for businesses to make a change and start creating more mentally healthy workplaces."
Time to Change is funded by the Department of Health, Comic Relief and the Big Lottery Fund. Set up to create a positive shift in public attitudes towards mental health problems, Time to Change supports communities, schools and workplaces to open up to mental health problems; to talk and to listen.