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The Pensions Regulator signs up to mental health pledge

Ref: PN16-09
Thursday 4 February 2016

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has joined a growing number of companies who have signed the Time to Change employer pledge, demonstrating their commitment to taking action to tackle stigma and end discrimination around mental health in the workplace.

Time to Change is England’s biggest anti-stigma programme led by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness and funded by the Department of Health and Comic Relief. Set up to create a positive shift in public attitudes towards mental health problems, Time to Change promotes better understanding to combat discrimination towards people who experience mental health problems.

TPR’s Chief Executive Lesley Titcomb signed the pledge at the organisation’s offices in Brighton. She said: “We are signing up to the anti-stigma pledge because mental health is a topic that we should all feel able to talk about. Having these all important conversations can make a big difference to many people and it’s only when we start talking about the issue that we will see stigma and discrimination being reduced.”

The pledge is an aspirational statement backed up by an action plan to promote mental wellbeing and support staff who experience mental ill-health. Activity planned by TPR will include setting up a senior level wellbeing committee and recruiting and training of a team of Time to Change employee champions who will tackle stigma and drive forward change with a number of employee initiatives. A number of mental health awareness events for staff and tailored training courses for people managers are also planned for the coming year.

TPR is part of a wide movement of organisations that have signed up to the Time to Change pledge, including the FA, the Premier League, BT, E.ON, British Gas, Ernst & Young, Transport for London, Citizens Advice, Accenture, Shell, Pepsico, The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Church of England, Channel 4, Lloyds, and many NHS trusts, universities, and local authorities.

Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change, said: “It is fantastic that more and more organisations are showing their support in tackling the stigma experienced by people with mental health problems. Employers and their staff can all play a part in helping to stamp out stigma and organisations like TPR are taking a lead.

“Many leading companies have found that making a strategic commitment to the mental wellbeing of their workforce not only has benefits for their staff but also benefits their bottom line, improving productivity and staff retention. With one in four people experiencing mental illness it's time for businesses to work on their approach and start creating more mentally healthy workplaces."

The pledge signing was held on national Time to Talk Day, aimed at getting as many people as possible across England talking about mental health.

TPR’s Chief Executive Lesley Titcomb with Ben Cooper from Time to Change holding the pledge












Lesley Titcomb, Chief Executive of The Pensions Regulator, with Ben Cooper, Employer Team Assistant, Time to Change

Editor's notes

  1. The Pensions Regulator is the regulator of work-based pension schemes in the UK. We have objectives to: protect members’ benefits; reduce the risk of calls on the Pension Protection Fund (PPF); to promote, and to improve understanding of, the good administration of work-based pension schemes; to maximise employer compliance with automatic enrolment duties; and to minimise any adverse impact on the sustainable growth of an employer (in relation to the exercise of the regulator’s functions under Part 3 of the Pensions Act 2004 only).
  2. Time to Change is England's most ambitious programme to end the stigma and discrimination faced by people with mental health problems. The programme is run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, and funded by the Department of Health, Comic Relief and the Big Lottery Fund. For more information go to time-to-change.org.uk.
  3. The Department of Health launched 'No health without mental health' on 2 February 2011 , a cross-government mental health outcomes strategy for people of all ages which has the twin aims of keeping people well and improving their mental health and, when people are not well, improving their outcomes through high-quality services. The strategy is based on six shared objectives, developed with partners from across the mental health sector, and focuses on 'recovery' and the reduction of stigma and discrimination as overarching themes. To help deliver the objective to reduce the stigma faced by people with mental health problems, in 2011 the Department agreed to support Time to Change, the anti-stigma campaign run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. The Department of Health is providing the campaign with up to £16 million of funding together with a further £4 million from Comic Relief and £3.6 million from the Big Lottery Fund. This funding will help Time to Change continue their work until March 2015.
  4. Comic Relief is committed to supporting people living with mental health problems. The projects Comic Relief funds ensure people with mental health problems get their voices heard in the decisions that affect their lives and get the help they need to recover. Comic Relief also helps people to promote their rights and reduce the stigma and discrimination they face so that they feel more included in society. The £4 million grant to Time to Change is the second time the charity has awarded Time to Change its largest UK grant and is part of Comic Relief's long standing commitment to this issue. For more information go to comicrelief.com.
  5. Big Lottery Fund supported the first phase of Time to Change with funding of over £20 million, and in 2013 awarded the programme a further £3.6 million from its Well-being programme to build on its success and work with targeted communities. Big Lottery Fund also supported the campaign’s roll out across Wales. The largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, Big Lottery Fund is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has awarded close to £6 billion to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since 2004. For full details of the Big Lottery Fund's work visit biglotteryfund.org.uk.

Press contacts

Matt Adams 01273 662086
www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk

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