Time to Change, run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, is England’s biggest programme to end the discrimination faced by people with mental health problems.
As an organisation, pledging to support Time to Change is a statement of commitment to tackling mental health discrimination. It demonstrates to staff, service users, Trust members and the local community that South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is leading the way in addressing stigma and discrimination.
The pledge was signed by the Trust’s Chairman Ian Black, right, on behalf of the organisation at a joint Members’ Council and Trust board meeting on 29th January 2012.
By pledging, the Trust has aligned itself with a major national movement for change, and shown a commitment to tackling this last great taboo. Other organisations to have signed the pledge include universities, local authorities, the Premier League, Comic Relief, BT, E.ON, and Citizens Advice.
The Trust is committed to fighting the stigma that so often surrounds people with mental health problems and even produces its own anti-stigma posters to display in shops, places of worship or other community settings.
Trust Chairman Ian Black said, “Many people who use our mental health services say that stigma is harder to deal with than the condition itself. We hope that by signing this pledge it will encourage people to think differently.
“1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem therefore it’s very important that we challenge attitudes in our society. People may have seen recent powerful TV ads from Time to Change; part of their latest campaign to raise awareness. We are proud to be supporting this fantastic work and hope to do our bit, letting people know that ‘it’s time to talk.”
Time to Change has just launched a nationwide campaign ‘It’s time to talk. It’s Time to Change’. The campaign aims to address the fear or awkwardness people feel in talking about mental health problems, and get people around the country talking about mental health. Just a few small words can make a big difference to someone with a mental health problem and talking about mental health can help to break down stigma and discrimination.
Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change, said: “It is fantastic that more and more organisations are showing their support in tackling the stigma experienced by people with mental health problems. Employees and their staff can all play a part in helping to stamp out stigma and companies like South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust are taking a lead.
“Many leading companies have found that making a strategic commitment to the mental wellbeing of their workforce not only has benefits for their staff but also benefits their bottom-line, improving productivity and staff retention. With one in four people experiencing mental illness it’s time for businesses to work on their approach and start creating more mentally healthy workplaces.”