Suffolk Mind backs mental health pledge to improve workplace attitudes

Suffolk Mind signs mental health pledge. Picture: GETTYIMAGES / ISTOCKPHOTO

Suffolk Mind signs mental health pledge. Picture: GETTYIMAGES / ISTOCKPHOTO - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A Suffolk mental health charity is set to sign a national pledge which will encourage employers to rethink public attitudes toward mental health in the workplace.

Suffolk Mind will join the 450-plus organisations that have signed up to the Time to Change Employer Pledge a signing ceremony in Ipswich on Tuesday.

The commitment aims to create a positive shift in public attitudes toward mental health issues, supporting communities, schools and workplaces to achieve this aim.

With almost one in three people experiencing problems with mental health while in employment, and mental ill-health cited as the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK, organisations are being urged to provide better support.

At the signing ceremony, the chief executive of Suffolk Mind, Jon Neal, will say: “All employers, large and small, can sign up and we can help everyone to create environments at work that are better for preventing mental ill health from occurring in the first place.

“Suffolk Mind is an employer too, and it’s only right that we hold ourselves up to external scrutiny to make sure we’re doing as much as we can to support our own teams.”

The Suffolk charity will be offering a workplace wellbeing course to their staff and other organisations around the country, which will include training in effective communication around mental health issues, stress management, mental health awareness, and getting better sleep.

In response to Suffolk Mind’s decision to sign the pledge, Jo Loughran, interim director of Time to Change, has said that “it’s fantastic to see organisations like Suffolk Mind taking the lead”.

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He added: “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.

“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.”

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