Tendring District Council (TDC) 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, TDC is committing to change the way we all think and act about mental health in the workplace.
The signing ceremony took place at an all-staff briefing and representatives from across the council pledged 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.
Cllr Ricky Callender, Chairman of the Human Resources and Council Tax Committee, said: “I am delighted that we have signed this pledge committing us to making sure Tendring District Council is a good employer when it comes to mental health.
“What is particularly good about Time to Change is that it is not something you just sign up to, but an actual action plan to bring real, practical support for our hard-working staff and officers as they serve the people of Tendring.”
TDC joins the wide movement of more than 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 other local authorities.
As part of the pledge TDC has introduced mental health first aiders in the workplace, increased training for managers in supporting staff and expanded the role of the Livewell champions, along with other measures.
Jo Loughran, Interim 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 TDC 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 improves productivity and staff retention. With one in six British workers experiencing mental illness it's time 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.