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Council shows commitment to improving workforce mental health support

Cllr Deborah Earl, Cllr Stewart Young and Beverley Graham (Time To Change project lead)

Cumbria County Council today showed its commitment to improving the mental health support provided to their employees by signing a new Mental Health Charter.

The charter was signed by:

  • Councillor Stewart Young, Leader of Cumbria County Council together with
  • Councillor Deborah Earl, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Community Services and
  • Councillor Janet Willis, Cabinet Member for Customers and Transformation.

The charter shows how the county council will improve and prioritise mental health support provided to its workforce through a variety of key activities such as staff training.

The signing of the charter has taken place today on national Time to Talk Day, which is part of the Time to Change campaign to encourage conversations about mental health and combat mental health stigma.

This reinforces the council’s commitment to improve workforce health and welling. Employees are being encouraged to take time out of their working day to have conversations about mental health, and to attend one of the many staff drop-in sessions taking place throughout the county.

This event follows hot on the heels of the council achieving gold standard for Better Health at Work which was awarded on Monday this week (4th February 2019).

Councillor Stewart Young, Leader of Cumbria County Council and Chair of Cumbria Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “Just like physical health, we all have mental health and we believe that equal importance should be placed on the physical and mental wellbeing of all our employees.

“Many people will experience mental ill health during their lives and we are committed to creating a supportive and open culture and removing any stigma or discrimination in the workplace.”

Councillor  Deborah Earl, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Community Services, said: “When we think about our health, it is important never to forget that mental health is just as significant to our wellbeing as physical health.

“Right now, someone that each of us knows will be experiencing a mental health problem with 1 in 4 of us affected every year. Every conversation counts and can make a difference which is why I am supporting time to talk.”

Councillor Janet Willis, Cabinet Member for Customers and Transformation, said: “Around 15% of those in work in England have symptoms of a mental health problem and people with a mental health condition are three times more likely to have a long term period of sickness.

“By encouraging people to talk about mental health problems and engage in events like today we hope to promote a culture of support and openness, and in turn a healthier workforce.”

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