The Bank of England today joined the growing number of companies committing to end the stigma and discrimination against people with experience of mental health problems by signing a pledge with Time to Change, which is a programme run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.
The signing ceremony took place today at the Bank of England and Chris Salmon (Executive Director, Banking Services and Chief Cashier) and Spencer Dale (Executive Director, Monetary Policy and Chief Economist) pledged the Bank of England's support to Time to Change, promoting a better understanding of mental health problems while offering support and welfare advice to their staff.
Chris Salmon, the Executive Sponsor of the Bank's Mental Health Network, said;
"There are common misunderstandings about the nature of mental health issues. The stigma can lead individuals not to seek help that is available; and for others to underestimate the capability of people with mental health issues to manage their condition and perform well with appropriate help and support. By signing the Time to Change pledge we hope not only to encourage our own staff to seek help without fear of stigma, but also to increase awareness of mental health issues more generally."
The Bank of England offers a range of services to promote mental wellbeing, including an in-house medical unit, a Staff Counsellor, and a comprehensive Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). In addition the Mental Health Network, one of the Bank's employee diversity and inclusion networks, works with Human Resources and the Staff Counsellor to raise awareness and improve understanding around mental health conditions, and highlights the support available to staff.
Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change, said;
"It is fantastic that more and more organisations are showing their support in tackling the stigma experienced by people with mental health problems. Employers and their staff can all play a part in helping to stamp out stigma and institutions like the Bank of England are taking a lead.
"Many leading companies have found that making a strategic commitment to the mental wellbeing of their workforce not only has benefits for their staff but also benefits their bottom-line, improving productivity and staff retention. With one in four people experiencing mental illness it's time for businesses to work on their approach and start creating more mentally healthy workplaces."