The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust (TRFT) has signed an employer pledge with Time to Change during Mental Health Awareness Week (8-14 May). Time to Change aims to end mental health discrimination; ensuring people can access the support they need without feeling isolated or ashamed.
Louise Barnett, Chief Executive, TRFT said: “We, as a Trust, have pledged to support ‘Time to Change’. Our organisation prides itself on the support that we offer our employees which is reflected in our core values of ambitious, caring and together. Signing up to the campaign reinforces our commitment to promote mental health and change the way we all think and act about mental health in the workplace.
“In the past year we have already taken steps to support colleagues by holding ‘Time to Talk’ events and have actively encouraged colleagues to attend mindfulness training. In addition, as part of Mental Health Awareness Week, we are introducing Mindfulness Monday, a weekly 30-minute session to practice mindfulness, and Wellness Wednesday, a monthly forum for colleagues to come together to discuss a particular area. These new activities complement our wellbeing programme and further reinforce our commitment to supporting colleagues so they don’t feel there are barriers to being at work”.
This year, Mental Health Awareness Week will look at how many people are surviving or thriving and the difference between the two and what steps people can take to look after their mental health, building resilience to cope with the demands of life and work.
The Trust joins the wide movement of over 450 organisations that have signed up to the Time to Change pledge, including E.ON, British Gas, Ernst & Young, Transport for London, Royal Mail, Barclays, Shell, Pepsico, the Church of England, Sunday Mirror, Marks and Spencer and many NHS trusts, universities and local authorities.
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 TRFT 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."