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Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, who has also contributed to numerous national business titles including Utility Week, the Municipal Journal, Environment Journal and consumer titles such as Classic Rock.

January 10, 2019

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Mental health

Time to Change: Suffolk clinical commissioning groups sign mental health pledge

NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk and NHS West Suffolk clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have become the latest organisations to sign the Time to Change pledge.

Time to ChangeThe Time to Change pledge is run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Health and commits organisations to encourage staff to talk about mental health issues, promote good mental wellbeing and challenge stigma in the workplace.

As part of the pledge signing the CCGs have developed an action plan, which outlines how they will meet its requirements.

All staff members will be offered mental health awareness training by Suffolk Mind, as part of the action plan. This training will help staff understand their mental health needs and empower them to tackle and best take control of any mental health issues.

Mental health champions

Volunteer staff members will also train as mental health champions to promote Time to Change principles and line managers are to receive training so that they are confident in discussing mental health issues with their staff.

“Our NHS staff are an incredible asset who work hard for the people across east and west Suffolk to commission the best and most effective health services,” said the CCG’s Chief Officer, Dr Ed Garratt.

“There’s no doubt working for the NHS can be challenging. This is why it is so important that we do all we can to promote good mental and physical wellbeing in the workplace. Everyone benefits and we are determined that over the coming months and years we will see happier staff who are feeling more fulfilled in their jobs.

“I am really pleased that we have reached the standards set by Time to Change which have enabled us to sign the pledge.”

More than 850 organisations have also made the pledge to change the way they think and act about mental health in the workplace, including the University of Chester, Norfolk Fire and Rescue and Vivid Homes.

In November, the London borough of Southwark also signed the Time to Change employer pledge.

Open up; talk and listen

Jo Loughran, Director of Time to Change, 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. Everyone’s attitude makes a difference and it’s fantastic to see organisations like the two CCGs 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.”

To learn more about Time to Change, click here.

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