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Co-op celebrates one year since signing pledge to raise mental health awareness

This week marks the one year anniversary of Central England Co-op signing the Time to Change Employer Pledge and vowing to break the silence around mental health.

Ever since chief executive Martyn Cheatle put pen to paper on the pledge 12 months ago major strides have been made as part of a long-term commitment aimed at raising awareness about mental health problems.

The Society has launched several initiatives offering support to those who are battling mental health issues following the signing of the pledge.

These include:

  • Mental health first aid training courses, dementia friendly awareness sessions and mindfulness workshops – over 30 events that over 400 colleagues have attended
  • Creating 50 mental health and wellbeing champions who offer support by signposting colleagues towards resources and help regarding mental health.
  • Launched a colleague assistance programme, which is a 24-hour, seven day a week, confidential helpline
  • Conference for the 50 mental health and wellbeing champions, in conjunction with Time to Change, for them to find out more about their roles, share best practice and learn about supporting each other

Tracey Orr, support services executive, has spearheaded the Society’s efforts to tackle the issue of mental health as part of a specially formed mental health working party.

She said: “The health and wellbeing of all of our colleagues is of the utmost importance to us and this was why it was vital we signed up to this initiative.

“During the past 12 months we have raised awareness around the importance of mental health and wellbeing at work, championed the issue by providing the resources and tools for all colleagues and helped break the culture of silence around mental health.”

“Our Society is now more focused than ever in providing support for those who need it and working hard to end the discrimination and stigma associated with mental health.”

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