On Tuesday 28 February the council officially signed an employer pledge with Time to Change, the growing social movement run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness which supports people to open up to mental health problems.

As part of the pledge signing, the council's Wellbeing Team also organised a tea, cake and chat event, encouraging employees to talk openly about mental health. The event also raised money for MIND and was attended by Angela Etherington from Time to Change.          

As part of the pledge, the council has submitted an action plan outlining all the activities it will undertake to promote wider awareness of mental health issues. These include:

  • Recruiting and training volunteer workplace wellbeing champions;
  • Organising training for managers and wellbeing champions to enable them to recognise mental health issues with staff and have the confidence to support them;
  • Delivering and promoting activities that support positive mental health and emotional wellbeing;
  • Encouraging staff to make personal pledges; and
  • Encouraging senior staff and councillors to speak out about their experiences of mental health problems and lead by example.

"We are delighted to sign the pledge and help raise awareness of mental health across the Council," says Councillor Eileen Lintill, Cabinet Member for Community Services at Chichester District Council. "Nine in ten people who have experienced a mental health problem have faced negative treatment from others as a result. We are committed to tackling mental health stigma and changing how we all act and think about mental health. We will continue to support our staff through training, wellbeing activities and much more."

Chichester District Council joins more than 450 organisations that have signed up to the Time to Change pledge.

Date of release: 6 March 2017

Reference: 3702