An agreement for Time to Change Champions working with each other, organisations and the public
All of us involved in Time to Change activity - agree to follow this working agreement. We agree to this so we can work well together and make a real difference to how people think and act about mental health.
Time to Change is a growing movement of people changing how we all think and act about mental health problems. Time to Change Champions use their own experience of mental health problems to help the public open up to mental health. We will ensure these values are at the centre of everything we do and we won’t misuse the Time to Change brand for other purposes or agendas.
We will treat each other and the public with respect, dignity and politeness. We know that we might not always see things the same way, as we bring different experiences and ways of seeing things. We will behave fairly and constructively towards each other when we disagree. We will listen and be polite and respectful in our exchanges of views. Disagreements will arise sometimes and that’s okay, because everyone is allowed to express their opinion and be listened to.
We will do our best to make sure that our behaviour is not felt by anyone to be harassment. Harassment is any form of inappropriate behaviour, comments or physical contact that causes someone to feel offended, uncomfortable, threatened or bullied. We understand that it is how the other person experiences our behaviour and not what we mean by it which defines harassment. Harassment includes comments directed towards someone else because of their sex, gender, sexuality, appearance, disability, age, religion, faith or ethnicity.
Working with Children and Young People
You must be over 18 to sign up as Community Champion. Community Champions are not authorised to work with or run campaign activities aimed at children and young people under the age of 18 when campaigning as a Time to Change Champion. This would include any campaigning activities or giving talks as a Champion to schools and youth groups.
Time to Change has a Children and Young Persons programme which supports Young Champions to engage with their peers to change how they think and act about mental health.
What to do if you witness or experience harassment
If you feel that someone says something inappropriate to you, or if you see something being said or done to someone else:
a) By another Time to Change Champion: You may want to sit down with another person who you trust and talk through what you have found inappropriate. If you feel safe to, you could then approach the person together and explain in a gentle, non-judgmental way what has bothered or upset you. If you’re being harassed and you feel you're in danger, or you believe a hate crime has taken place you can contact the police on 999.
b) By a member of the public: It is important to make sure that you speak to people respectfully and you could challenge the person’s behaviour and beliefs if it feels safe to do so, but if a situation feels inappropriate, then it is important to remove yourself from the situation and speak to someone you trust. If you’re being harassed and you feel you're in danger, or you believe a hate crime has taken place you can contact the police on 999.
c) When doing a Time to Change activity with an organisation e.g. a local mental health charity, an NHS trust or local authority:
- If a member of the public speaks to you inappropriately it is important to make sure that you speak to them respectfully and you could challenge the person’s behaviour and beliefs if it feels safe to do so. It is important to remove yourself from the situation and speak to a member of the organisation’s staff as soon as the incident has taken place. If you are unsure of whether something inappropriate has taken place, we would encourage you to speak with a member of staff to talk it through.
- If another Champion does something that makes you feel uncomfortable or something you believe to be harassment, then it is important to remove yourself from the situation and speak to a member of the organisation’s staff as soon as the incident has taken place. If you are unsure of whether something inappropriate has taken place, we would encourage you to speak with a member of staff to talk it through.
- If you are concerned about the behaviour of a member of the organisation’s staff, you could speak to another contact within the organisation to find a way forward. You can ask for a copy of the organisation’s complaints procedures if you aren’t satisfied with the response.
If you are upset following the incident and need to speak to someone, the Samaritans are always available on 116 123.