County Council signs Time to Change employer pledge on World Mental Health Day

  |  Published: Oct 10th 2018
Rachael Shimmin and Noel Brown sign the employer pledge on behalf of the County Council
Rachael Shimmin and Noel Brown sign the employer pledge on behalf of the County Council

The County Council has pledged its support to reducing stigma towards mental health in the workplace by signing the Time to Change employer pledge. Chief Executive Rachael Shimmin and Cabinet Member for Community Engagement & Public Health Noel Brown signed the pledge on behalf of the Council at a special employee event today (10 October).

The Time to Change employer pledge is a way for organisations and businesses to demonstrate their commitment to changing how mental health problems in the workplace are treated and making sure that employees who are facing these problems feel supported at work. To support their employer pledge signing, the Council has submitted an action plan detailing what work will take place to address mental health stigma including recruiting employee champions; asking employees to share their personal experiences of mental health problems; equipping line managers to have conversations about mental health; and providing clearer information and signposting to wellbeing services.

County Council Chief Executive, Rachael Shimmin, said: “I am delighted to be involved in marking World Mental Health Day and to be signing the employer pledge today on behalf of the County Council. Recognising the importance of positive mental health and supporting our staff to enable them to be as resilient as possible is the right thing to do and will enable our employees to be better equipped to provide high-quality, cost-effective services for people in Buckinghamshire.

“We already support our employees’ wellbeing in a number of ways including a confidential telephone support service, flexible working hours and discounted gym and fitness memberships. We have been working with our staff to plan the introduction of further initiatives in the coming months to really embed our commitment.”

Noel Brown, Cabinet Member for Community Engagement & Public Health, said: “We know that there is sometimes a stigma attached to mental health problems and this can cause misinformed and potentially damaging attitudes, making it more difficult for those affected to open up about mental health problems or ask for help.

“It can be hard for people to start to talk about mental health, which is why, through our employer pledge action plan, we’re encouraging and supporting employees to think more about their own and others’ mental health and wellbeing.

“I’m very pleased that the County Council has signed the Time to Change employer pledge today and I’m looking forward to seeing the progress we can make as an organisation to help tackle the wider issue of stigma and discrimination towards mental health.”

World Mental Health Day takes place annually and is aimed at highlighting the challenges faced worldwide from mental health issues. Find out more at https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/world-mental-health-day

Time to Change Buckinghamshire is a growing social movement working alongside the established national campaign aiming to change attitudes towards mental health through working with local communities, workplaces and schools. Find out more about it and how you can get involved at www.timetochangebucks.org

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