Leeds Beckett University makes ‘Time to Change’ mental health pledge
8 October 2014 - Julia Williams
Professor Susan Price, the Vice Chancellor of Leeds Beckett University, has signed a pledge of support on behalf of the institution to end negative attitudes towards people with mental health problems.
The pledge, part of MIND’s ‘Time to Change’ national campaign, signifies a renewed commitment by the University to eliminate the stigma and discrimination suffered by those with a mental health condition.
Professor Price said: “Nine in ten people with mental health issues experience stigma and discrimination and at Leeds Beckett we are truly committed to working against this.
“I feel proud to have pledged on behalf of the University, joining thousands across the UK who are motivated towards change and making a difference.”
Professor Price signed the pledge on Tuesday 7 October in the Student Hub at Headingley Campus, as part of a week of University wellbeing events held from October 6-10.
Head of Student Wellbeing, Jan Daley, added: “World Mental Health Day takes place on Friday 10 October and this week Leeds Beckett has made it a priority to promote the importance of health and wellbeing to our staff and students - who were also invited to sign their own pledge on our ‘Time to Change’ pledge wall. Activities during the week have included mindfulness sessions, film screenings, and organisations such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds promoting the benefits of volunteering.
“A further example of our commitment is the recent purchase of an online therapy tool, SilverCloud Health, which provides Cognitive Behavioural Therapy resources and approaches on issues such as depression and anxiety. The resource is freely available to all of our students and staff.”
Leeds Beckett University joins the 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, Citizen’s 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 institutions like Leeds Beckett University are taking a lead.
“Many 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.”
‘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.