The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn has taken an important step forward towards ending the stigma surrounding mental health in the workplace by signing the Time to Change Employers pledge.
The Time to Change scheme aims to support employers to create a more open and understanding culture surrounding mental health problems in the workplace, supporting businesses and their employees in the fight against mental health discrimination.
The Time to Change campaign is part of the Trust’s wider health and wellbeing scheme, which was created to support colleagues with mental health issues and give them the tools they need to live a healthy life. The Trust is also providing additional services to support staff with the mental strain caused by battling coronavirus at the height of the pandemic, by recruiting a specialist Clinical Psychologist for staff and 9 Mental Health First Aider colleagues across the hospital.
The pledge was signed at the Trust Board meeting on Tuesday 6 October, by hospital Chairman Professor Steve Barnett and CEO Caroline Shaw.
In his pledge speech, Chairman Steve Barnett said: “Working within healthcare can be a source of great fulfilment, growth and with great reward but also at times a significant source of stress, working through the current pandemic without doubt has seen this come to the point of it being overwhelming for some of our staff members.
“Challenging how we all think and act about mental health at The QEH can make a real difference to employee wellbeing it will lead to improving our sickness absence rates, staff wellbeing, productivity, and staff retention.
“By signing this pledge we commit to change how mental health is talked about and acted upon at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital.”
The Trust is also encouraging all staff members to sign an individual pledge to say they will support their colleagues and patients with mental health issues without discrimination.
Time to Change is a Government-backed scheme, aimed at working with employers to end the stigma surrounding mental health in the workplace. The QEH is one of 1500 employers across the UK to sign the pledge.