Changing workplace attitudes to mental health

11 October 2017

Time to Change pledge

A quarter of the population will struggle with mental health this year – that’s roughly one in four people you’ll see at work today.

Despite this, many people incorrectly believe it won’t affect them or anyone they know.

We spend the majority of our time around work colleagues. If someone is acting differently or appears to be struggling then reach out, ask how they are and listen without judging. Being able to talk to somebody can make a big difference.

It's why we've signed the Time to Change employer pledge - to demonstrate our commitment to tackling stigma and discrimination around mental health.

“As a charity, we support a lot of people who have mental health needs and it’s only right to offer that same help to our staff. Ethically it’s the right thing to do,” explains our HR director Peter Murphy.

Time to Change is an anti-stigma campaign run by leading mental health charities and supported by the Department of Health.

Porchlight encourages its staff to be open about their mental health and provides training so everyone has a better understanding of depression, anxiety and other conditions.

“Cultural change can only happen if everyone feels comfortable talking about their mental health, and sharing concerns and challenges with those around them,” explains Peter.

Staff can get access to counsellors, with sessions carried out either in person or over the phone. In all cases, their use of the service is confidential.

They can also get support for other issues such as bereavements, financial problems and physical health.

We also provide ‘mental health first aid’ training. This allows someone to help a person who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a worsening of an existing issue.

Porchlight is proud to be a Time for Change employer. Peter says: “By signing the pledge and developing a mental health action plan we’re helping to promote positive wellbeing, not just within our own organisation but throughout society as a whole.

“Ultimately, we want people to feel confident about contributing to what we do. Everyone has skills and experience to share, and if they sometimes struggle with mental health it doesn’t change the fact they’re a valued member of our team.”