Council signs up to Mental Health Charter

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Pictured at the signing of the Mental Health Charter are (L-R): David Mayers, Mental Health Champion, Lord Mayor Alderman Glenn Barr, Aisling Knipe, Human Resources Operations Manager and Kieran McParland, Mental Health Champion.

The Equality Commission is delighted to welcome Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council as the latest signatory of the Mental Health Charter. The signing of the charter is a voluntary commitment by the council to look after and acknowledge the mental health and wellbeing of its employees.

Chief Commissioner, Geraldine McGahey said: “The arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic has been extremely tough for all of us. Employees suddenly found themselves working from home, while some were redeployed to different roles and many others were furloughed. There is no doubt the speed and level of these changes may have impacted on the mental health of many employees.

“The signing of the Mental Health Charter by Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council is a most welcome intervention by them as an employer. They are committing to putting in place the five charter commitments and developing best practice in the workplace in relation to mental health and well-being.  We hope by using the Mental Health Charter they will be able to create a more open and inclusive workplace culture.”

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Alderman Glenn Barr, said: “We as a council are delighted to sign up to the Mental Health Charter and are proud to promote inclusivity for employees and encourage good mental health in the workplace.

“By committing to the Charter, we will endeavour to improve the working lives of employees experiencing mental health challenges and will continue to work with the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland in providing long-term sustainable support, training and information that will help us identify and offer assistance to our staff.

“The council have appointed 12 Mental Health Champions from within the organisation who will act as a point of contact to any employee experiencing a mental health issue. All our Mental Health Champions are trained to raise awareness, normalise and encourage conversations about mental health and signpost employees to support services.

“Our employees are our greatest asset and their wellbeing in the workplace of the utmost importance to us. The Mental Health Charter is our commitment to our staff as we continue to strive to ensure they receive the reassurance and support they deserve”, concluded the Lord Mayor.

The Mental Health Charter, was jointly produced by the Equality Commission, Action Mental Health, Disability Action, Mindwise, Mental Health Foundation and Inspire and aims to provide a framework for working towards mentally healthy workplaces.