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Setting out to end the stigma

20 November 2014

The Big Lottery Fund has joined the growing number of organisations committing to end the stigma and discrimination against people with experience of mental health problems by signing a pledge with Time to Change.

Dawn Austwick signs  Big Lottery Fund up, to Time To Change

Dawn Austwick signs the Big Lottery Fund up, to Time To Change

Chief Executive Dawn Austwick pledged her support on behalf of the Big Lottery Fund to the initiative – to promote a better understanding of mental health problems and commit to creating a work place that is safe for all and where mental health issues do not stigmatise any individual.

Almost 300 organisations have signed up to the Time to Change pledge including the Premier League, British Gas, Transport for London, Citizen’s Advice, Shell, Channel 4 and many NHS trusts, universities and local authorities.

Sue Baker, director of Time to Change, said: “It is fantastic that more and more organisations are showing their support in tackling the stigma experienced by people with mental health problems. Employers and their staff can all play a part in helping to stamp out stigma and organisations like the Big Lottery Fund are taking a lead.

“Many leading companies have found that making a strategic commitment to the mental wellbeing of their workforce not only has benefits for their staff but also benefits their bottom-line, improving productivity and staff retention. With one in four people experiencing mental illness it’s time for businesses to work on their approach and start creating more mentally healthy workplaces.”

Time To Change is England’s biggest anti-stigma programme set up to create a positive shift in public attitudes towards mental health problems, the programme promotes better understanding to combat discrimination towards people who experience mental health problems.

Two photos of Lottery Staff  holding up signs saying 'End the stigma'

Big Lottery Fund staff say ‘End the stigma’!

The programme is currently funded by the Big Lottery Fund, as well as Comic Relief and the Department of Health. A Big Lottery Fund grant of over £20 million supported the first phase of Time to Change. In 2013 we awarded a further £3.6 million to build on its success and work with targeted communities.

In October Time To Change released its latest Attitudes data showing the greatest improvement in public attitudes to mental health in a decade. Their latest report – Making a drama out of a crisis – launched earlier this month and explores how mental health problems are portrayed in today’s TV soaps and drama.

Check out the Time To Change website, as a first step to maybe encouraging your organisation to sign-up, if they haven’t!

Post a comment below and share your Time To Change stories.

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