The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) is the latest signatory of the “Time To Change” pledge to end mental health stigma.
Time to Change is a growing social movement run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, which supports people to open up to mental health problems. By signing, the CII is committing to change the way we all think and act about mental health in the workplace.
Tali Shlomo, People Engagement Director at the CII said: “Taking the time to connect and talk to your colleagues is sometimes all people need when they face challenging times. Mental ill health is a growing concern affecting one in four people and breaking down the stigma and supporting our colleagues is one way we can start to make a difference.”
The CII joins the wide movement of more than 700 organisations that have signed 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, WH Smiths and many NHS trusts, universities, and local authorities.
Sian Fisher, Chief Executive Officer of the CII commented: “It is difficult to remember now that there used to be tremendous stigma and barriers around talking about physical illnesses and disabilities. A lot of progress has been made. We need to be equally open about mental illness and the impact this can have in our personal and work lives. If someone says “How are you?”, mostly they mean it, so let’s be more willing to share and to offer support to our colleagues.”
Sue Baker, 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 the CII 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.