Shoosmiths backs initiative to end mental health stigma

Shoosmiths backs initiative to end mental health stigma

National law firm Shoosmiths has pledged to back ‘Time To Change’, an anti-discrimination initiative founded by mental health charity Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, working to change the way we think and act about mental health.

The Pledge involves developing a firm wide plan detailing actions we will undertake to address mental health issues.

1 in 4 people in the wider population will experience a mental health problem, and 9 out of 10 say they have faced negative treatment as a result.

The Time to Change campaign began in 2007 and aims to improve public attitudes towards people with mental health problems and the discrimination and stigma they receive in their communities, workplaces, social lives and in relationships. As such the campaign is drawing upon business leaders to join them in their efforts.

“Mental health is an area in which staff may need additional support. In signing the pledge we are demonstrating our commitment to creating an environment where people can talk about any mental health issues affecting them and be confident that they will get the support they need.”

Shoosmiths chairman, Peter Duff, commented : “A big step in tackling mental health discrimination is acknowledging that discrimination exists; and committing to ending it wherever possible. At Shoosmiths we are truly committed to ending the stigma attached to mental health and to making our workplaces mentally healthy. Signing the Time to Change pledge is a first step in improving the mental wellbeing of our staff.

‘Mental health is an area in which staff may need additional support. In signing the pledge we are demonstrating our commitment to creating an environment where people can talk about any mental health issues affecting them and be confident that they will get the support they need. It is our hope that as a result of us signing up and living the commitments we are making, that other businesses will follow suit.”

Since the launch of Time to Change, 3.4 million adults in England have improved attitudes towards mental health problems – an improvement of 8.3% between 2008 and 2014, and more people than ever are able to be open about their mental health problems.

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About The Author

Thomas Anderson

Founder and MD of Inclusive Networks. Thomas was Chair of the award winning LGBT network for The Co-operative Group, ‘Respect’ (2011-14). Thomas named the network and designed and managed all of the branding, communications and engagement until he stepped down from the role of Chair in March 2014. He also created the branding, name, was Editor of the quarterly magazine and developed the launch of the UK’s first Inter-Retail LGBT network ‘CheckOUT’. He contributed to the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 5 Year review. In recognition of his work in the diversity field he was shortlisted for ‘Diversity Champion of the Year’ at the 2013 European Diversity Awards, shortlisted for ‘Role Model of the Year’ at the 2012 Lesbian & Gay Foundation Homo Heroes Awards and shortlisted for the ‘Positive Action’ award at the 2013 Asian Fire Service Association Fair & Diverse Awards. He also won the 2012 ‘Pride of The Co-operative’ award. He is a judge for Scotland's biggest diversity awards, The Icon Awards.

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