Essex & Suffolk Water owner Northumbrian signs up to ‘Time To Change’ mental health pledge

Claire Sharp, left, and Sharon Ravenhall of Northumbrian Water.

Claire Sharp, left, and Sharon Ravenhall of Northumbrian Water. - Credit: Archant

Northumbrian Water has officially signed up to take action to combat the stigma associated with mental health issues.

The company, which operates in East Anglia as Essex & Suffolk Water, has added its name to the employer “Time To Change” pledge, and believes that its action plan will also benefit service to some among its 4.5million customers.

The water company already has extensive health and wellbeing support in place and to add to that now plans to train all of its 500 people managers in the business on mental health awareness, and to hold personal resilience workshops open to all employees.

Claire Sharp, customer director, said: “There should be no stigma or discrimination surrounding mental health issues at work or at home. At Northumbrian Water we are determined to build on the actions we have already taken to ensure the wellbeing of our people, and the support they can also give to our customers, as well as in our local communities through our volunteering schemes.”

Sharon Ravenhall, HR operations manager, added: “Northumbrian Water is a great place to work and we are committed to the health, safety and wellbeing of all our people.

“We are determined to educate our people about mental health and its affects, as well as pro-actively supporting those with poor mental health. By raising awareness we want our people to feel confident that they can talk about this important subject without fear of discrimination.

“Our existing Employee Assistance Programme already provides support 24/7, with access to telephone and face-to-face counselling. We will also build on the excellent support already provided through our network of Wellbeing Champions in the business including regular company awareness campaigns and information.”

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Time to Change is led by MIND and Rethink Mental Illness and is funded by the Department of Health, Comic Relief and the National Lottery.