News

26th October 2020

 To continue providing a responsive and effective mental wellbeing strategy, the Chamber has launched its new Mental Wellbeing Charter throughout the Thames Valley.

The Charter has been fully supported by Rt Hon Theresa May MP, who prioritised mental health whilst Prime Minister, who commented:

“Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce are undertaking important work to help raise awareness of the role and benefits for businesses in promoting and supporting good mental health in their organisations.  I invite businesses of all sizes to sign up to the Chambers Mental Wellbeing Charter and pledge their commitment to building a positive mental wellbeing culture which in turn tackles stigma and builds trust, ensuring that the right help is available to anyone seeking mental health support, wherever they are and whenever they need it.”

Companies can pledge their commitment to building a positive mental wellbeing culture, which will ensure that the right help is available to anyone seeking mental health support.

The commitments are:

  • To provide an environment for our employees to thrive in and encourage those who may be struggling to speak up and seek help.
  • Through effective people management and training we foster trust amongst our employees, supervisors and leaders, to help create a workspace where employees feel comfortable to self-identify as a person with a mental illness.
  • We understand that culture and leadership are pivotal to creating a healthy and thriving workplace.
  • Our leaders are open about mental health and mental illness (be that through personal stories, or education)
  • We will treat those experiencing mental illness as we would with someone experiencing a physical illness in terms of support, time off, and a supportive return to work.
  • We will be honest and support people to live with ambiguity and uncertainty.
  • We will actively risk assess those who are most at risk of developing or have an existing mental health condition.
  • We will support our employees as parents and carers to enable their children to be well during this time.
  • We will be a learning organisation – establishing learning relationships with other organisations and sharing what we have learned.

Mental Wellbeing Champion and Business Alliance Manager, David Saab, who is leading the initiative on behalf of the Chamber commented: “There has been welcome focus and attention on mental illness in recent years through important campaigning and legislation.

“We encourage employers to learn from other organisations as well as share good practice and how they have adapted their support to meet the needs of their employees. Subsequently, our Mental Wellbeing Charter is to help guide companies, regardless of size or stature, to enable their employees and organisation thrive and be productive.”

Clare Lyons-Collins, who has been appointed to the Chamber to deliver the Charter further added: “Employers and society have responded well to ensuring mental health is given the same priority as physical health (parity of esteem), by implementing campaigns as ‘Time to Change’, being a ‘Mindful Employer’.

“This charter challenges organisations and businesses to go further and learn from each other especially in the challenging time we are currently facing with the Covid-19 pandemic and recession. Reducing the stigma is only one part of supporting employees and their families at this unprecedented time.”

In England, the subsequent mental health challenge has been estimated, up to 10 million people (almost 20% of the population), who will need either new or additional mental health support as a direct consequence of the Coronavirus pandemic. (Centre for Mental Health, 2020)