Time to Change

SSP sign the pledge to change how we all think and act about mental health

Did you know that approximately 300,000 people with long-term mental illnesses lose their jobs annually in the UK*? With 31% of employees formally diagnosed with mental health issues.**

That’s why on Wednesday 10 October, we were proud to take part in World Mental Health Day, a global event to highlight that one aspect of our personal health that is often so easily overlooked – our mental health. This year, we have been working with the mental health charity Time to Change to take action and deliver our commitment to creating a safe and supportive workplace for anyone who may suffer from a mental illness, as well as building trust and confidence amongst our colleagues.

On this day, SSP also signed an employer pledge with Time to Change, the growing social movement run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness which supports people to open up to mental health problems. By signing, SSP is committing to change the way we all think and act about mental health in the workplace.

SSP joins the wide movement of over 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 SSP taking the lead.”

During the day, Jeremy Harris, SSP’s Customer Service Specialist, volunteered to run two guided meditation workshops at SSP’s Solihull office, to provide colleagues with an introduction to the benefits of meditation and well-being. Colleagues also came forward with blogs explaining their personal mental health experiences.

“By having a day dedicated to the topic, we were able to talk openly, raise awareness and show our support to help one another. We feel that the day was a successful platform to start conversations around mental health and not only just for today but for tomorrow and the future.” Jemma McKenzie, SSP’s HR Director.

That’s not all – we also released our new, dedicated HR policy on mental health, and shared colleagues’ personal stories, experiences and thoughts to break the silence around mental health issues.

As part of our work with Time to Change, SSP will be joining a large community of businesses in officially signing the employer pledge – a commitment to end the stigma against mental health in the workplace and beyond.

*Source: The Shaw Trust’s Independent 2018 Report
**Source: The Business in The Community’s 2017 report