L&Q sign mental health pledge
L&Q has today 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 about mental health problems. By signing, L&Q is committing to change the way we all think and act about mental health in the workplace.
The signing ceremony took place at L&Q’s Stratford office today [Thursday 7 Feb] with CEO David Montague pledging an action plan of activity that will help to break the silence that surrounds mental health in the workplace. This will include developing a new Mental Health at Work strategy and doubling the number of Mental Health champions from 16 to 32.
David Montague, L&Q’s Chief Executive, said: “Around one in four of us will experience mental ill health each year. This could be periods of anxiety, depression or something more complex. We’re committed to reducing the stigma associated with mental health and want to support staff to talk openly about how they are feeling. We are making changes via improving policies and procedures but it is not enough – we need to try and change people’s mind set. And we can do it by sharing information, talking, supporting each other. This is what this day is for.”
L&Q is one of the UK’s most successful independent social businesses, housing around 250,000 people in more than 92,000 homes. It joins the wide movement of over 800 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 L&Q 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."
Time to Change is funded by the Department of Health, Comic Relief and the Big Lottery Fund. Set up to create a positive shift in public attitudes towards mental health problems, Time to Change supports communities, schools and workplaces to open up to mental health problems; to talk and to listen.