As the Mental Health Foundation seeks to uncover why too few of us are thriving with good mental health, North Staffs Mind turns its attention to the business community; encouraging Staffordshire employers to demonstrate their commitment to changing how they think and act about mental health in the workplace by signing up to the Time to Change Employer Pledge.
Good mental health is more than the absence of a mental health problem, but too many people are simply surviving as opposed to thriving in terms of their mental wellbeing. Mark Rowland, Director of Fundraising and Communications for the Mental Health Foundation, commented:
“This Mental Health Awareness Week, we are flipping the focus away from mental ill-health to exploring how we can cultivate good mental health. It is an opportunity to reflect on the strategies and resources we need to both shape a coherent national approach to public mental health and the tools we need for our families and our communities to radically re-frame our ability to thrive in life.”
With mental ill-health the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK, costing an average of £1,035 per employee per year, looking after the mental health of employees makes business sense: tackling stigma can make a real difference to sickness absence rates, presenteeism levels, staff wellbeing and productivity, and retention.
North Staffs Mind is encouraging Staffordshire-based businesses to sign up to the Time to Change Employer Pledge, which aims to empower people to challenge stigma and speak openly about their own mental health experiences, as well as changing the attitudes and behaviours towards those with mental health problems. Nationally, 483 organisations have so far pledged their support, and it is hoped that sign-ups from the Staffordshire business community between 8th – 14th May will see this total exceed 500.
Any Staffordshire businesses making the pledge during Awareness week will also be eligible for a 10% discount on the new Employment Assistance Programme from North Staffs Mind when they Tweet #mymindpledge to @NorthStaffsMind, or comment on the charity’s Facebook pledge post. Working Minds incorporates a variety of services to support employers and their staff, including 1-2-1 counselling, mental health training, stress management workshops and more – ideal for businesses that do not have a support network in place for members of staff who may be struggling to cope – whether that’s through stress, financial worries, problems at home, or depression.
Time to Change is a growing movement of people changing how we all think and act about mental health.
Our aims are to:
- Improve public attitudes and behaviour towards people with mental health problems.
- Reduce the amount of discrimination that people with mental health problems report in their personal relationships, their social lives and at work.
- Make sure even more people with mental health problems can take action to challenge stigma and discrimination in their communities, in workplaces, in schools and online.
- Create a sustainable campaign that will continue long into the future.