Feature News — 25 February 2019

Black Country Housing Group (BCHG) is pleased to announce that it has signed the ‘Time to Change’ – Employer Pledge, showing its commitment to supporting its colleagues’ mental health and wellbeing.

Time to Change, which further supports one of BCHG’s five strategic aims; to have a ‘Resilient and Healthy Workforce,’ is a growing social movement which aims to tackle the stigma surrounding mental health.

To celebrate the occasion, BCHG invited Director of Wellbeing for West Midlands Combined Authority, Sean Russell to co-sign the pledge, as part of promoting good mental health. The day before on Time to Talk day, self-help coach, Sabahat Latif provided a 90-minute workshop and a presentation on confidence, mental health and wellbeing. This was followed by a Vintage Tea Party for colleagues from around the organisation to gather for ‘Time to Talk.’

Superintendent, Sean Russell said: “I am so pleased to be supporting Black Country Housing Group who are already leading the way in engaging their workforce by raising the profile of mental health and wellbeing at work. This approach supports the Thrive at Work programme, where we are trying to help employers improve their staff wellbeing. We want the West Midlands to be the region of choice for employees and we are seeking to give the right tools to the employers that demonstrates that they care for their staff.”

Amanda Tomlinson, Chief Executive, Black Country Housing Group said: “Committing to Thrive to Change is a significant step to encourage a better way of looking at mental health for not only BCHG employees but also other organisations who could do more.

“BCHG is committed to ensuring that it is an employer that cares about its colleagues. We will do all we can to assist our colleagues with managing their mental health and wellbeing.”

One initiative, is the Black Country Buddies’, which is made up of trained BCHG employees in mental health first aid who offer free, confidential advice and arrange free mental health and wellbeing events available to all colleagues. At the end of 2018, BCHG also signed up to West Midlands Combined Authority Thrive at Work Programme, committing to promoting employee health and wellbeing.

“We are constantly looking at new ways we can support colleagues, including making our workplace a healthy environment to be, ensuring flexible working policies and sustaining an inclusive culture where no-one feels disadvantaged.” Amanda added.

According to West Midlands Combined Authority, Mental ill-health affects a huge number of people in the West Midlands, with just under 25% of adults affected by a mental health condition at an annual cost of £12.6 billion to the economy.

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