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Mental Illness

Department for Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 18th March 2015.

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Photo of Paul Burstow Paul Burstow Liberal Democrat, Sutton and Cheam

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what steps his Department has taken to reduce mental health stigma and discrimination as a result of signing up to the Time to Change Pledge.

Photo of Amber Rudd Amber Rudd The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change

DECC has taken the following steps to reduce mental health stigma and discrimination signing up to the Time to Change Pledge on 3rd December 2013:

- signed the Department of Health’s Public Health Responsibility Deal pledge on mental health and wellbeing in December 2013

- produced a “Mental Health Toolkit” in December 2013 to support DECC managers and staff, allowing them to understand how a disability or long-term health condition might affect people in the workplace and providing practical information, advice and tools to help inform decision-making

- promoted the Time to Change “Time to Talk Day” initiative to DECC staff by publishing staff stories of their own and experiences of mental health as part of a departmental day of open discussion on the topic of mental health in February 2014

- arranged a “Mental Wellbeing Week” in May 2014 providing a week of activities aimed at raising awareness of mental health issues to DECC staff and to our wider colleagues across Whitehall

- arranged for Dementia Friends to provide presentations to DECC staff and colleagues across Whitehall in May and June 2014 to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and to ask for volunteers to become Dementia Friends

- supported the request from Una O’Brien for support of the Dementia Friends initiative across the Civil Service by encouraging all staff to complete the requisite online registration tool in June 2014

- wrote to all DECC staff in February 2014 encouraging them to support the Dementia Friends initiative by DECC is setting a departmental challenge - to create 50 Dementia Friends from our staff by March 2015

- published an article on the departmental intranet from a senior member of staff aimed at raising awareness of mental health and hidden disabilities in March 2015.

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