Sector: 
Other
Date of Pledge: 
01/12/2014

About this pledge

We stand by our big original ambition to reframe how society sees and values mental health. We’re building on our 18-year heritage of issues relating to mental health to identify key change-makers, win new crosssector business, help influence attitudes, set agendas and improve service provision.

In 2014, we built on all this expertise to create and launch a national campaign for Business in the Community (BITC) to address the ‘culture of silence’ over mental health in UK businesses, and ensure mental wellbeing is recognised as a priority boardroom issue. To shape the campaign, we produced a report – Mental Health: We’re Ready to Talk – which sets out the evidence that the current culture of silence around mental health is stifling UK business productivity and competitiveness. It also outlines a route map for every business to harness the benefits of proactively engaging with mental wellbeing: improved employee motivation, greater staff retention and increased competitiveness.

The campaign is being spearheaded by a new group of progressive business leaders who will drive the campaign ambition, report back on progress and work to inspire their peers. The new BITC Workwell Mental Health Champions Group has 12 founding members, including BT, RBS, Mars, Bupa, FriendsLife, Santander, Deloitte and Procter & Gamble. We worked closely with these businesses, as well as Mind, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, the Work Foundation and Professor Cary Cooper to shape and steer the campaign.

We launched the new group, the report and the campaign itself at an event during Responsible Business Week. More than 150 individual organisations were represented, reflecting that even if many businesses are not openly talking about mental health yet, they are certainly looking for leadership to see how to open up the dialogue.

At Forster we are committed to ensuring that all employees who experience difficulties are treated fairly, sensitively and with respect, and are offered the support they need to deal with their particular situation. We are also committed to helping to reduce the societal stigma attached to mental ill health and counteract the negative stereotypes through positive practices and an open dialogue on the issue.