Mental Illness

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 11th March 2015.

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

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 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 Tobias Ellwood Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

Since signing the Time to Change Pledge in September 2014, we have focussed on raising awareness across our network through promotion of the Action Plan agreed as part of the Pledge. To help facilitate this, we continued to be an active member of the Time To Change Peer Network Group and the recently launched Whitehall wide network to learn and share best practice.

On specific follow-up with staff, the FCO has arranged a number of Stress Management sessions for staff working in our offices in London and Milton Keynes.

The FCO will in future be promoting Mental Health awareness internally as part of our "Good Line Manager" campaign, as well as making staff aware of the range of disability awareness products which are available through Civil Service Learning.

Within the FCO’s Consular Directorate staff training has increased by 30% in the last year to help staff to confidently support customers with mental health needs. We have also focused outreach in overseas Posts to establish what support is available for customers and as a consequence staff knowledge has increased by 14%. We also have a Mind How you Go Travel Info-graphic which is available on our website.

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