The Time to Change pledge is a way for organisations to demonstrate their commitment to changing the way we all think and act about mental health. The Time to Change initiative is a growing movement of 980 employers at present pledging to end the stigma surrounding mental health. The initiative is led by MIND and Rethink Mental Illness.
Greenshoots have recognised the need to support any of our staff, at any time, should they feel they need to have those open and honest conversations that people so often try to hide. According to the Time to Change official website, 1 in 4 British workers will suffer from mental health issues. This accounts for at least £1,035 lost per employee, per year to illness pertaining to mental ill health. Employees will often say it is anything else other than stress or related illnesses preventing them from working to the best of their abilities.
At Greenshoots, we decided we needed to have something other than just a well being and mental health policy in place, we had to actively do something. Greenshoots are aiming to break down the barriers and make people realise that it’s just as important to be mentally healthy as it is to be physically healthy. We want to encourage our staff to share with us when work stresses are too much and let us know if we can help them. We need to be able to confidently support the well being of our staff and so Lisa (Chair of Laira Green Trust) and Natalie (Greenshoots’ Operations Manager) have teamed up to become the setting’s first Champions. They are there to support other members of staff and each other and look forward to having other members of staff become Champions.
Natalie has said:
“As the line manager of the practitioners at Greenshoots, I feel this project is a good step in changing the way people think about mental ill health. We support the children and families of the setting and this has helped us to recognise we need to support our staff team members also. It will give them the opportunity to open up, whether they feel they need to talk about themselves or the pressures of supporting a relative or friend. I am very excited about this new project being implemented here at Greenshoots and we hope we can make a difference in a way that having mental ill health makes us feel it can’t. We can open up that initial dialogue and celebrate the bravery of talking about a delicate subject.”
Greenshoots are the first setting of its kind in Plymouth to support this initiative and along with Plymouth City Council, Clubs for Young People and Express Diagnostics we are proud to represent Time to Change and sign our pledge to vow to normalise conversation about mental ill health, support our colleagues and break down those barriers that will end mental health stigma. This is turn will have a larger, positive impact on our children and maintain a happy environment for all. We are immensely grateful to have the continued support of such an incredible team of wonderful staff and the dedicated Board of Trustees.