CancerCare pledges to break the silence around mental health

on Thursday, 28 February 2019. Tags CancerCare, Mental health, Time to Change

Charity signs Time to Change pledge

We have signed an employer pledge to talk openly about mental health at work.


CancerCare staff with the pledge

Instigated by ‘Time to Change’, a growing social movement run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, the pledge will mean we are committing to changing the way we all think and act about mental health in the workplace. 

The signing ceremony took place at The Friends Meeting House in Lancaster and representatives from CancerCare pledged their support to Time to Change with an action plan of activity that will help to break the silence that surrounds mental health in places of work.

Alison Stainthorpe, Head of Operations for CancerCare, said: “Back in 2016 CancerCare signed up to take part in the Mind Wellbeing Index as a way of supporting the mental health and wellbeing of our staff (teams).

“As a continuation of this support we also signed the Time to Change Employer Pledge to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to change how we think and act about mental health in the workplace.

“We wanted to break down the barriers and stigma associated with mental health conditions and to create a culture that supports and understands that 1 in 4 British workers are affected by conditions like anxiety, depression and stress every year.

“We hope that we can encourage staff to talk about their experiences in a safe environment and that it felt normal to talk about their mental health in a way they would talk about our physical health. It also makes business sense in that by supporting our staff we may reduce absenteeism and presenteeism levels across the organization.”

Neil Townsend, Chief Executive of CancerCare, added: “In 2016 CancerCare decided to take part in the MIND mental well-being index to explore how our staff perceived our organisational approach to wellbeing in the workplace.

“This was the start of an incredible journey for us, resulting in a Gold recognition award from MIND. This has proved that an organisation does not to be large or have huge resources to be able to make a really positive difference in the workplace.

“Our signing of the Time to Change pledge is a further demonstration of our commitment to help end the stigma of mental health and to play our part in making this a reality.”

CancerCare is an independent charity dedicated to helping families affected by cancer and other life limiting conditions in North Lancashire and South Cumbria.

Delivered by qualified and highly experienced staff, CancerCare’s wide range of free professional therapy services are designed to help individuals and their families come to terms with and manage the challenges of a serious health condition.

With 35 years of experience, CancerCare has helped more than 30,000 local people affected by cancer and other potentially life-limiting conditions. The charity has three dedicated centres based in Kendal, Barrow and Lancaster.

CancerCare joins the wide movement of more than 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.

Jo Loughran, Interim 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 CancerCare 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.”

Time to Change is funded by the Department of Health, Comic Relief and the Big Lottery Fund. Set up to create a positive shift in public attitudes towards mental health problems, Time to Change supports communities, schools and workplaces to open up to mental health problems; to talk and to listen.
Ends

For more information contact the Marketing and Communications Officer, CancerCare, Slynedales, Slyne Road, Lancaster, LA2 6ST, 01524 381 820 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Notes to Editors

** For access to a range of free images to accompany mental health news stories please visit: http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/getthepicture. These images have been developed by the anti-stigma campaign Time to Change, run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, and funded by the Department of Health, Comic Relief and the Big Lottery Fund.

Time to Change

Time to Change is a campaign to change how we all think and act about mental health problems, led by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. It is funded by the Department of Health, Comic Relief and the Big Lottery Fund. Set up to create a positive shift in public attitudes towards mental health problems, Time to Change supports communities, schools and workplaces to open up to mental health problems; to talk and to listen.

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

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 reduce the stigma faced by people with mental health problems, the Department has been supporting Time to Change, the anti-stigma campaign run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, since 2011.

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 funding of Time to Change represents Comic Relief’s largest UK grant and is part of the organisation’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. They will be providing a further £1.1m to support the Time to Change campaign in 2015-16.

The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. We are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery and invest over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitable purposes.

Since June 2004 we have awarded over £6.5billion to projects that make a difference to people and communities in need, from early years intervention to commemorative travel funding for World War Two veterans.

Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £33 billion has been raised and more than 450,000 grants awarded.