Brighton Housing Trust (BHT) will sign an employer pledge with Time to Change on the 10th October, to coincide with World Mental Health Day, the theme of which is mental health in the workplace. The growing social movement, run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, supports people to open up to mental health problems.
By signing, BHT is committing to change the way we all think and act about mental health in the workplace. The signing ceremony will take place at BHT’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Service in Brighton. BHT’s Chair, Joan Mortimer, and Chief Executive, Andy Winter, will pledge 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.
Sharon Munnings, BHT’s Senior Manager for Mental Health, who is leading on Time to Change for BHT, said: “BHT is committed to improving the mental wellbeing of our clients, tenants and staff. We want to continue to develop a healthy, inspired, motivated, confident, happy and resilient workforce by providing meaningful opportunities for reflection, peer support, development and learning.
“We are committed to challenging the stigma surrounding mental health for clients, staff in the workplace, and in society as a whole. Mental wellbeing is a core feature of the work we do , and we want to strengthen the culture where we all look out for each other.”
Daniel O’Connell, BHT’s Head of Human Resources, said: “BHT is not just a leading provider in specialised mental health services for clients, we also recognise that our employees may experience periods of mental or physical ill-health.
“Joining the Time to Change campaign demonstrates our further commitment to improving staff wellbeing and removing the stigma associated with mental health. This standard builds on our values and positive organisational culture, supporting the lives of all employees experiencing mental health issues in the workplace.
“I would recommend that all organisations sign the Time to Change employer pledge.”
BHT 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.
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 Brighton Housing Trust 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.