St Helens Council and St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have pledged their support to creating a workplace where staff’s mental wellbeing is a key priority.
Councillor David Baines, leader of St Helens Council, and Sarah O’Brien, clinical accountable officer for St Helens CCG and strategic director for people’s services at St Helens Council signed the Time to Change pledge alongside their colleagues at an event celebrating the partnership between St Helens Council and its health colleagues at St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group on Thursday.
Councillor Anthony Burns, cabinet lead for public health, leisure and libraries, who also signed the pledge with deputy leader Councillor Sue Murphy; welcomed the pledge: “We are really proud to be able to sign the Time to Change pledge in front of many of our hard-working staff. We are committed to making it easier for them to look after their mental wellbeing and encourage them to find a way to balance their work life with other things that help them to relax, look after their health and support others who may need help.
“This is also a recognition that mental health should be treated the same as physical health. As one of the biggest employers in St Helens Borough it is only right that we lead by example and encourage others to make the Time to Change pledge.”
Hailing the partnership approach and the signing of the pledge Sarah O’Brien said: “This is a really important step forward for us that shows how important mental health and wellbeing is for our employees alongside their physical health and wellbeing. This shows a real commitment to this issue across St Helens and will help create an environment where staff can feel comfortable talking about how they feel and get the support they need.”
Time to change is a campaign run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness and supports employers in creating an environment of mental wellbeing for its staff and putting help in place for those who may need it to look after their own mental health.
At St Helens Council initiatives like mental health first aiders are helping to give staff new ways of finding support if they need it from their workmates who can suggest different organisations that can offer specialist help.
And a new host of wellbeing workplace champions are also being recruited to help promote anything from lunchtime fitness sessions to training and support to help others.
Jo Loughran, director of Time to Change added: “We’re delighted to see St Helens Council take the Time to Change Employers Pledge. By signing the pledge and introducing things like mental health first aiders, St Helens Council and St Helens CCG are demonstrating a real commitment to changing the way we all think and act about mental health in the workplace.”
Photo: Councillor Anthony Burns, cabinet lead for public health, leisure and libraries; Sarah O’Brien, clinical accountable officer at St Helens CCG and strategic director of people’s services at St Helens Council; Director of public health Sue Forster; St Helens Council leader Councillor David Baines; deputy chief executive of St Helens Council Paul Sanderson and deputy leader of St Helens Council Councillor Sue Murphy all sign the Time to Change pledge