Campaign to help people talk about mental health given £1.4m funding boost
A campaign to help people in Wales talk about mental health and to end discrimination has received an additional £1.4m to extend the programme by three years.
Time to Change Wales’ central aim is to challenge and change negative attitudes and behaviours towards mental ill health. The next phase will focus in particular on working with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities and employers in areas of poverty and deprivation.
Announcing the funding boost, Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing, Lynne Neagle said that the pandemic had hit minority ethnic communities particularly badly.
“I am pleased we are able to provide further funding to help extend Time to Change Wales,” she said. “The project is helping to end discrimination and encouraging people to have open and honest conversations about mental health.
“We know that the pandemic has had a disproportionate effect on those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities and I am pleased Time to Change Wales will focus on working with communities utilising this new funding.
“Many of us spend a lot of our daily life at work so it’s essential we create working environments that support any ill health, whether mental or physical.”
One key part of Time to Change Wales is working with employers to create more open cultures around discussing mental health at work and provide employers with practical resources including an Employer Toolkit and training.
Around one in four Welsh workforces have pledged their support to the campaign already, representing around 320,000 employees. Organisations signed up include third sector organisations, all four police forces, all local health boards, private companies and SMEs.
One company who has taken the Time to Change Wales pledge is Safety Letterbox Company Ltd based in Neath, who employ 60 people from the local area.
The company signed up in August 2021 and is committed to prioritising the mental wellbeing of its employees by running wellbeing activities and establishing an open-door policy to discuss workload and mental health.
To date they have nine Mental Health First Aiders who play a key role in supporting the workforce.
Alison Orrells CEO and Managing Director of Safety Letterbox Company LTD, said: “We aim to create an open, supportive, and collaborative culture to enable people to shine and thrive, take ownership and to make a difference, this applies to everyone.
“We aim to remove any stigma regarding Mental health in the workplace to enable us to support and provide the best we can for our employees enabling them to feel relaxed and able to do their job safely, comfortably, and successfully.
“20% of our workforce are mental health first aiders, this is a commitment to enable us to be aware, help and support as best we can.
“Signing the Time to change pledge highlights our commitment to mental health in the workplace to those within our business and anyone considering working with us.
“Everyone has mental health. We want people to be able to shine and do well, relaxed and focused in their role, in doing so that helps our business, therefore we need to do whatever we can to enable everyone to thrive.”
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