Suffolk Mind signs national mental health pledge

Suffolk Mind has signed a national pledge encouraging employers to change how we think and act about mental health. 

On Tuesday 12th December, Suffolk Mind signed the Time to Change Employer Pledge, run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, which supports people to open up to mental health problems. By signing, it demonstrates a commitment to supporting employees who are facing these issues.

The signing ceremony happened at Quay Place in Ipswich at 1:30pm by Chief Executive of Suffolk Mind Jon Neal, and Chairman Nigel Suckling. 

Jon Neal says, “For Suffolk Mind this is about making a commitment to undertake the activities that we recommend all employers undertake to enable staff and volunteers to get their emotional needs met to stay well. 

“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 also doing as much as we can to support our own teams.”

Suffolk Mind is offering a workplace wellbeing course to their staff and other orgainsations around the county. It includes training in effective communication, stress management, mental health awareness and getting better sleep.

Almost one in three people have experienced mental health problems while in employment and mental ill-health is the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK. 

Suffolk Mind joins over 450 organisations that have signed up to the Time to Change pledge nationally and Healthwatch Suffolk, Suffolk County Council and Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust within Suffolk. 

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.

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 Suffolk Mind 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.”


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