YMCA sign up to help stamp out mental health stigmas

By Harriet Ernstsons Friday 27 December 2013 Updated: 27/12 10:05

A COUNTY charity supporting vulnerable young people has signed up to a pledge to stamp out stigma about mental health.

YMCA Worcestershire representatives signed up to the Time To Change project, run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness in a bid to end discrimination against people with mental health issues, which will see them offering support and welfare advice to staff and promoting better understanding.

Angie Rich from YMCA said: “We want to spread the message that it’s okay to talk about having mental health and wellbeing difficulties.

“If people are stigmatised as a result of it, that keeps them more isolated and less willing to access services so we want to be able to work with young people and other organisation to pledge to stop discrimination and stigma around mental health.”

A programme has been developed to take into schools, colleges and other locations to get people talking more openly about issues with the hope this will enable residents to support each other and reduce the fear sometimes surrounded with accessing help.

Sue Baker, Time To Change director, added: “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 companies like YMCA Worcestershire 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 stuff 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.”

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