Removing the stigma surrounding mental health

Riverside's Chief Executive Carol Matthews signs up to the Time to Change employer pledge

By Ian Gregg, Executive Director of Asset Services

I am really pleased that today Riverside has formally signed up to the Time to Change employer pledge, standing by our commitment to help remove the stigma surrounding mental health.

By doing this, we’re not only showing our support for this worthwhile campaign but also striving to improve the working lives of our colleagues and the service they give to our customers.

But, why does mental health matter to us at Riverside?

Last summer, I became the Executive Champion of our staff group Enable, which supports colleagues with both physical and mental conditions.

Enable’s purpose is:

  • to provide assistance and information to all staff who experience short or long term disability or illness
  • to influence policy and procedures, support managers and enable staff to carry out their jobs regardless of any impairment.

At the first meeting I attended, the group talked about the issues that mental health was starting to have within the workplace and asked what, if anything, we could do about it.

Recently, we have seen mental health awareness gaining momentum on a national stage. Not only has Prime Minister Theresa May raised this issue but in the last month the both Prince William and Prince Harry have talked about the impact mental health has had on their lives.

Since we started to raise awareness of the Time to Change employer pledge and our progress towards it within Riverside, we have also seen a similar impact.

Our staff have started to tell us that this matters to them, talking about their own experiences in the workplace. Some have suffered in work and have had support and others not – we want to make sure that everyone has someone to turn to when they need them.

In signing up to the pledge, starting that conversation and having a wide group of colleagues who can be ‘in your corner’ I truly hope that we can start to reduce the impact that mental health issues can have for our staff and provide those that do with the support they need.

I would urge other organisations to consider whether they too want to sign up to the Time to Change campaign.