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Breaking the silence around workplace mental health

Time to Change mental health event

University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust (UHP) is committed to ending the stigma around mental health. One in four of us will experience a mental health problem at any one time, and nine in ten people who have experienced a mental health problem have faced negative treatment from others.

That’s why we, as a Trust, signed the Time to Change Employer Pledge on Thursday 06 February as part of Time to Talk Day. Ann James, Chief Executive at UHP and Steven Keith, Director of People, were invited to sign the pledge on behalf of UHP. This event marked the Trust’s commitment to taking mental health at work seriously at every level.

Steven said: “Even though we have a lot of support mechanisms in place, the more we can talk openly about mental health difficulties and make sure that we are taking the right action proactively to support those staff who need it, the better it is for all concerned.”

Staff, visitors and patients were encouraged to visit the main concourse throughout the day, where a team was on hand to signpost information, collect mental health pledges for the ‘Pledge Wall’, and chat with anyone who wanted to talk.

Pledges added on the wall, covered a wide variety of mental health issues. Many of the pledges were very personal, with one person writing: “Last year I didn’t feel able to talk about my own mental health. I pledge to help create an environment and a culture where people feel safe to speak up so that they don’t feel as lonely as I did”.

UHP has developed a mental health at work plan that will build an organisational culture where colleagues feel comfortable and supported when they are struggling. This plan includes developing a network of Wellbeing Champions, increasing access to training for managers to help them spot signs of mental ill health, opening up support information for all staff, encouraging open conversations, and ensuring colleagues have a healthy work-life balance. In order to ensure mental health issues remain high on the agenda, the Trust has a number of mental wellbeing awareness events and targeted campaigns scheduled throughout the year. Events include the staff Health and Wellbeing event in May and Mental Health Awareness Week.

Staff needing mental health support can:

  • Call the Employee Assistance Provision helpline on 03303 800658 for help and support with pressures at work or home available any time 24/7, 365 days a year
  • Access financial wellbeing information and support from Neyber and the Cavell Nurses Trust via the UHP wellbeing platform
  • Contacting OH&WB on 01752 437222 or the Counselling & Mental Health team at
  • Contact a counsellor at the weekly counselling drop-in, open every Wednesday morning: 9:00 – 11:30 at DCHW
  • Talk to your line manager
  • Contact the Pastoral & Spiritual Care team  on 55255 or
  • Talk to your GP
  • Contacting Head Space for peer to peer mental health support call 07890257614 / or
  • Head to Marbles Lost and Found – it’s ok to not be ok

Time to Change is England’s biggest programme to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination and is run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.




For further information please contact the Press & Communications Office for Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust on 0845 155 8207


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