Sue baker with WHSmith CEO Stephen Clarke

WHSmith has signed the Time to Change employer pledge, committing to change the way we all think and act about mental health in the workplace.

The signing ceremony took place at its Headquarters in Greenbridge Road, Swindon, with huge support from its employees, including CEO Stephen Clarke, all pledging their support to Time to Change with an action plan of activity that will help to break the silence that surrounds mental health in the workplace.

WHSmith CEO, Stephen Clarke said:“We are all very aware of how we can protect our physical health; but most of us aren’t so knowledgeable about how to look after our mental health. The workplace can be a vital drive for change in addressing this issue, which is why we are proud to be making this commitment.”

WHSmith 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.

Sue Baker, 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 WHSmith 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."

For more, read WHSmith's blog on the pledge signing event.