East Riding of Yorkshire Council signs Mindful Employer charter

Fri, 07 Oct 2022

Ahead of World Mental Health Day on Monday 10 October, East Riding of Yorkshire Council has announced that chief executive Caroline Lacey has signed the 'Charter for Employers Positive about Mental Health' on behalf of the local authority.  

By signing up to be a Mindful Employer on Tuesday 4 October, the council joins over 1,300 signatories, including other local organisations such as the NHS Humber and North Yorkshire ICB and Hull and East Yorkshire Mind. As a registered employer, East Riding of Yorkshire Council is demonstrating that it is actively committed to creating a supportive and open culture, where colleagues feel able to talk about mental health confidently, as well as aiming to provide appropriate support for the mental wellbeing of all staff. 

As an employer, the council has made an ongoing commitment to:  

  • Provide non-judgmental and proactive support to staff experiencing mental ill health 
  • Not make assumptions about a person with a mental health condition and their ability to work 
  • Be positive and enabling towards all employees and job applicants with a mental health condition 
  • Support line managers in managing mental health in the workplace 
  • Ensure we are fair in the recruitment of new staff in accordance with the Equality Act (2010) 
  • Make it clear that people who have experienced mental ill health will not be discriminated against, and that disclosure of a mental health problem will enable both the employee and employer to assess and provide the right level of support or adjustment. 

People experiencing mental ill health continue to report stigma and discrimination at work in the UK. Signing this charter makes it clear that the council, across all areas, is making it healthier to talk about mental health at work and increasing awareness of the support available. 

The East Riding public health team seeks to coordinate, instill and promote supportive networks and sharing of health and wellbeing information across the local area. As a Mindful Employer, East Riding of Yorkshire Council hopes to lead on and support other organisations across the East Riding to do the same.  

Speaking of the charter, Caroline Lacey said:

"By signing the Mindful Employer charter we are visibly showing our commitment to recognising the importance of talking about mental health at work, and raising awareness of the support, networks and information available. I encourage all our employees to talk to each other about how they are feeling and to access support.  

The chief executive added: "We are also working to support and encourage local businesses to sign up to the charter alongside public health's forthcoming Working Well initiative which will enable local businesses to be aware of and have access to health and wellbeing services and initiatives, as well as encouraging businesses to work together as a network and share good practice." 

Leader of the council, Councillor Jonathan Owen, said:

"It is important as a local authority and large employer that we highlight the importance of mental health in the workplace. We are proud to sign this charter and join other partners and businesses across the East Riding and encourage other organisations to do the same - by promoting support networks and enabling people to talk openly. It is a key priority for us, particularly in light of the rising cost of living and our Help for Households support, to also consider the impact on mental health." 

As an employer that values its people and works hard to make sure every staff member feels healthy, happy and supported at work with a comprehensive support package, East Riding of Yorkshire Council is proud to offer free mental health training to all employees in order to encourage people to have a level of awareness and understanding of mental health. There is also the opportunity to become a health and wellbeing champion, access to a Live Well Work Well initiative providing advice and support to improve mental, physical and emotional wellbeing, an Employee Assistance Programme, occupational health, mindfulness sessions, plus regular check-ins and performance reviews. 

Adam Gibson, public health lead for mental health and suicide prevention said:

"It is fantastic that as a council we are making such a positive step to open up the conversation of mental health. With this in mind and the darker nights and winter fast approaching, it is a good time to make sure we are all checking in with family, friends and neighbours to ask how they are doing and check if they are okay, as well as being kind to yourself as it's easy to let things get on top of you." 

To check-in on your mental health and that of your friends, family and colleagues, the council's public health team is encouraging people to do a short quiz on the Healthy Minds website: Healthy Minds (eastridinghealthandwellbeing.co.uk) which also provides more information on the local wellbeing offer and supportive organisations. 

What is World Mental Health Day? 

World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, led by the World Federation for Mental Health. The day aims to raise awareness about the scale of suicide around the world and the role that each of us can play to help in preventing it. Read more about this year's campaign 'Making mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority' on the World Health Organization website: https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-mental-health-day/2022 


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