Major finance institutions and politicians pledge to tackle stigma and discrimination on World Mental Health Day

As mental health continues to make the headlines, some of the most influential figures and organisations in politics and finance are joining forces with Time to Change, the mental health anti-stigma programme as part of World Mental Health Day 2013.

Today, Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg and Care and Support Minister, Norman Lamb, join cross-party MPs and Peers in reinforcing the need to tackle the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health problems as they attend a parliamentary event run by Time to Change and its partner charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.

On the same day, the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority will join over 100 other organisations by signing the Time to Change pledge to stamp out stigma and discrimination in the workplace.

The event in Parliament, which is being hosted by Kevan Jones MP who has also been open about his own mental health problems, will see MPs committing to address mental health stigma and discrimination and support mental health and wellbeing among their staff. The event is also an opportunity to celebrate the significant landmarks in the work Parliament has done in the last 18 months to address stigma and discrimination. These include the passing of the Mental Health (Discrimination) Act, which put an end to archaic laws that discriminate against people with mental health problems, and four MPs disclosing their mental health problems in Parliament for the first time ever last year.

World Mental Health Day 2013 provides an opportunity to reflect on the progress that has been made in bringing the issue further up the public agenda. More high profile people than ever before are openly discussing their mental health experiences while over 100 employers have pledged to tackle the issue: the Bank of England, Treasury, FSA and NHS Employers have this week joined other major organisations including British Gas, BT, Lloyds Banking Group, Ernst & Young, E.ON and Pepsico. Meanwhile, the recent outcries over Asda and Tesco selling ‘mental patient’ Halloween costumes have shown that the public is increasingly unwilling to accept outdated stereotypes of mental health.

 

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:

“We have entered a new phase towards ending mental health discrimination. There is now much better public awareness of how stigma and ignorance can increase the suffering for people with mental ill health. For a long time, I’ve been clear that mental health should be treated like any other health issue – with dignity and respect. But we must press on to create a fairer society in which nobody is marginalised or suffers in silence. It’s great to see major employers like Bank of England backing the Time to Change anti-stigma campaign, and I hope this creates a groundswell of support for this vital work.”


Care and Support Minister, Norman Lamb said:

"I am determined that mental health is treated with as much importance as physical health by the NHS and society as a whole.

“This is why we are investing £454 million into improving access to treatment for people with mental health problems and are working with NHS England to see how long people wait with a view to introducing access standards for mental health. Today, the health regulator the CQC, are announcing that there will be a new deputy chief inspector with expertise in mental health to root out poor care and highlight best practice in the NHS.

“I have asked all government departments to sign the Time to Change organisational pledge to show leadership by example, and I am pleased that, as of today, three have already signed and nine have formally committed to do this. But challenging discrimination and overcoming stigma on mental health is not something which the government alone can achieve. Everyone has a part to play, which is why it is so important that leading employers in the UK follow the Bank of England’s example and sign up to the Time to Change pledge to tackle stigma in the workplace.”


Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change, said:

“We are seeing unprecedented support from many different industries who now see the importance of tackling mental health stigma and discrimination. Through today’s event we hope to encourage MPs, as small employers in their constituencies, to think about the measures they can put in place to ensure that their workplaces are stigma free. In the last year and a half, we’ve seen huge improvements in the way that mental health is perceived in Parliament and among the public as a whole. But we can’t lose momentum – the events of recent weeks have shown that there is still work to be done and we hope today’s pledges, from individual MPs through to the Bank of England, will help to embed the anti-stigma movement further throughout society.”

Ends/

For more information please contact Hayley Richardson-Roberts at h.richardson@time-to-change.org.uk or call 0208 2152 358/ 07789 721 966.

 

Photo opportunities

Photo opportunities with the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, the Care and Support Minister, Norman Lamb, Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, Paul Jenkins, Chief Executive of Rethink Mental Illness and Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change are available on Thursday 10 October at 12:15pm. To attend please contact Hayley Richardson-Roberts, Communications Manager at Time to Change on 0208 215 2358 or 07789 721 966. Or email Hayley.richardson@time-to-change.org.uk

 

 

Notes to Editors

Time to Change
Time to Change is England's most ambitious programme to end the stigma and discrimination faced by people with mental health problems. The programme is run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, and funded by the Department of Health, Comic Relief and the Big Lottery Fund.

For more information go to www.time-to-change.org.uk

Department of Health

On 2 February 2011 the Department of Health launched No health without mental health, a cross-government mental health outcomes strategy for people of all ages which has the twin aims of keeping people well and improving their mental health and, when people are not well, improving their outcomes through high-quality services.

The strategy is based on six shared objectives, developed with partners from across the mental health sector, and focuses on ‘Recovery’ and the reduction of stigma and discrimination as overarching themes.

To help deliver the objective to reduce the stigma faced by people with mental health problems, in 2011 the Department agreed to support Time to Change, the anti-stigma campaign run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. The Department of Health is providing the campaign with up to £16 million of funding together with a further £4 million from Comic Relief and £3.6 million from the Big Lottery Fund. This funding will help Time to Change continue their work until March 2015.

Comic Relief

Comic Relief is committed to supporting people living with mental health problems. The projects Comic Relief funds ensure people with mental health problems get their voices heard in the decisions that affect their lives and get the help they need to recover. Comic Relief also helps people to promote their rights and reduce the stigma and discrimination they face so that they feel more included in society. The £4 million grant to Time to Change is the second time the charity has awarded Time to Change its largest UK grant and is part of Comic Relief's long standing commitment to this issue. For more information go to www.comicrelief.com

Big Lottery Fund

Big Lottery Fund supported the first phase of Time to Change with funding of over £20million, and in 2013 awarded the programme a further £3.6m from its Well-being programme to build on its success and work with targeted communities. Big Lottery Fund also supported the campaign’s roll out across Wales.

The largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, Big Lottery Fund is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has awarded close to £6bn to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since 2004. For full details of the Big Lottery Fund's work visit: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk

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