NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has committed to reducing stigma and discrimination faced by employees who experience mental health problems.

The CCG recently signed the Time to Change pledge, making a promise to tackle the fear and awkwardness that people feel when talking about their mental health.

Time to Change is an anti-stigma campaign run by the leading mental health charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. It has been shown to have a positive impact on attitudes and behaviour towards people who are experiencing mental health problems.

Over the next few months, the CCG will be working with Time to Change to put its commitment into practice, starting with a Time to Change Organisational Health check – an independent assessment of the organisation’s culture and attitudes towards mental health. Feedback will suggest actions and helpful resources to improve staff wellbeing.

Dr Helen Miller, Clinical Chair at the CCG, said:

“Mental illness is much more common than people think. One in six people working in Britain is affected by conditions like anxiety, depression and stress every year.

It’s a myth to think that people with mental health problems can’t work – with the right knowledge and skills we can help our employees to stay well. It makes sense to support employees who are struggling with mental health problems. Research shows that if supported, they will become more engaged and motivated, which can only be good for them and the work we do.”

The CCG has also become a Mindful Employer, helping to increase awareness of mental health at work and providing ongoing support for employers in the recruitment and retention of staff.