North-East businesses employing 400,000 people are being urged to take part in a campaign to raise awareness of workplace mental-health issues.
North East England Chamber of Commerce, the region’s largest membership organisation, is encouraging all its members to back Time to Change’s In Your Corner initiative, a five-year campaign that encourages everyone to look out for others – whether they are friends, family or colleagues.
One in four people will experience a mental-health problem this year and having a colleague in a corner can make all the difference.
Being in someone’s corner can be as simple as asking someone how they’re doing, listening and not judging; just being there and being yourself.
The Chamber has also signed up to get involved with Time to Change for the benefit of its own employees.
President John McCabe, who has personal experience of mental ill-health, said: “Thanks to campaigns such as Time to Change, attitudes towards mental health have positively shifted in recent years, but we still have a long way to go in terms of our understanding and acceptance of the illness.
“The single biggest challenge we face is in addressing the stigma that is still attached to mental health, especially in the workplace.
“Mental illness can affect anyone irrespective of their seniority, status or wealth so with accurate diagnosis and proper treatment, it should never be a barrier to career progression.
“With one in four people in the UK experiencing a mental-health problem this year, this has become a business critical issue and that’s why I’m delighted the Chamber has signed up to Time to Change and I hope many of our members will do the same.”