Mental Illness

HM Treasury written question – answered on 11th March 2015.

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

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, 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 Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

As a result of signing up to the Time to Change Pledge in February 2014, a Plan of Actions was compiled. The first action was to launch a Mental Wellbeing Network across HM Treasury. This network is made up of approximately 30 members of staff who are an important source to help raise awareness and improve staff’s understanding around mental health and help to rid the associated stigma.

Actions taken:

  • We have published staff’s own life experiences about how they have coped with poor mental health and how this was dealt with by others.

  • We have held workshops on mental wellbeing for staff and managers where they can ask questions and find out the help and support available for them to use.

  • We have had 11 key members of staff trained in Mental Health First Aid.

  • We have held a Mental Wellbeing Week which included members of staff talking about their own experiences, ways in which you can gain support, help and advice.

  • Held ‘speed meetings’ on Time to Talk Day where staff were encouraged to spend 5 minutes talking to another person about their own experiences of mental health.

  • Weekly lunchtime group walks to help mental and physical wellbeing

  • Run a Time to Change health check on how staff in the Treasury view mental health and how it is dealt with and support available.

  • Provided staff with stress information packs on Stress Awareness Day.

  • Published guidance for staff on how to manage their own mental health and for managers on how to manage someone with poor mental health

  • Publicised Mental Health eLearning available on the Civil Service Learning Portal

  • We have reminded staff to complete the eLearning Stress Essentials which is mandatory for all staff to complete.

  • We have given talks to Treasury Groups and leadership teams about mental health and how to manage stress.

  • In addition, a key member of staff will regularly attend the Time to Change Organisational Peer Learning Events to share ideas and latest news on mental health.

    Following this work, we continue to work towards removing the mental health stigma and improve interest in mental wellbeing throughout HM Treasury.

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