Trust backs employer mental health pledge

Pictured, from left, are Nigel Campbell, associate director of communications and marketing, Time to Change; Caroline Wild, deputy director, communications and corporate relations, NTW; Lisa Rodrigues, volunteer chair, Time to Change; Cheryl Woodall, registered nurse learning disability, NTW; and John Lawlor, chief executive, NTW.
Pictured, from left, are Nigel Campbell, associate director of communications and marketing, Time to Change; Caroline Wild, deputy director, communications and corporate relations, NTW; Lisa Rodrigues, volunteer chair, Time to Change; Cheryl Woodall, registered nurse learning disability, NTW; and John Lawlor, chief executive, NTW.
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Staff at a regional mental health and disability organisation have made a public pledge about mental health stigma.

John Lawlor, chief executive at Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW) signed the Time to Change Employer Pledge earlier this month.

In doing so, he joined more than 300 employers in England who are working to tackle mental health stigma and help keep their staff well for work.

Time to Change is a national mental health campaign – launched in 2009 by charities Mind and Rethink – with the objective of reducing mental health related stigma and discrimination.

The Employer Pledge is an aspirational statement which indicates to employees, service users and the public that an organisation wants to take action in regard to this issue, focusing on the workplace in particular.

Mr Lawlor said: “Here at NTW we have made a commitment to actively ending mental health stigma. Mental ill health is common, with one in four of us experiencing a mental health problem at some point in our lives.

“The social stigma attached to mental ill health and the discrimination people experience can make life more difficult. There are small things that each of us can do everyday to challenge stigma and I feel privileged to publicly sign the pledge.”

It is backed by an action plan which sets out exactly how employers will deliver and demonstrate their commitment to tackle mental health stigma.

For more information, go to www.time-to-change.org.uk