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Abingdon & Witney College sign Time to Change mental health pledge

27th Jul 2018

Abingdon & Witney College has 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 to mental health problems. By signing, Abingdon & Witney College is committing to change the way we all think and act about mental health in the workplace.

The signing ceremony took place at the Common Leys Farm campus in front of over 100 staff members, with Principal Di Batchelor officially signing the pledge, on the College’s activity day, an annual event that provides staff with the opportunity to try new things, socialise, and unwind at the end of a busy academic term.

Kelly Haddrell, Head of Human Resources, said: “It is a great occasion for the College to sign this pledge and reaffirm our commitment to tackling mental health and wellbeing issues in the workplace. Over the coming months, we will be working with staff on having employee champions to support staff, deliver training and signpost to appropriate services, and building on our already established Mental Health and Wellbeing initiatives.”

“By joining this ground-breaking initiative, we are also continuing our journey towards becoming an employer of choice in the local community and beyond.”

Abingdon & Witney College joins the wide movement of over 450 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 Abingdon & Witney College 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.