Businesses put their heads together to end mental health discrimination

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Vertas Group Limited has become the first facilities management company in East Anglia to sign the Time to Change Employer Pledge, demonstrating its commitment to ending Mental Health Discrimination.

The Suffolk-based group, which employs 3,000 people nationally, was pleased to welcome Jon Neal, Chief Executive of Suffolk Mind to give a presentation and witness Group Chief Executive Officer, Ian Surtees MBA, signing the Pledge as part of its on-going commitment to staff wellbeing.  

The group’s comprehensive action plan begins with training a cohort of ‘Mental Health First-Aiders’ to be a first point of contact for employees experiencing emotional distress or mental health issues. These first-aiders will assist colleagues by signposting them to further support either via the Vertas employee assistance programme, or to other support options such as counselling. Importantly, they are all passionate about reducing the stigma often associated with mental health issues and to normalise conversations around mental health.  

Vertas are proud of their holistic approach to staff wellbeing which recognises how there is a variety of environmental impacts on each employee’s health, and have recently updated their Employee Wellbeing Policy and produced a new Leadership Charter to ensure that everybody feels valued during their working day, and their work-life balance is protected.  

Jon Neal, Chief Executive of Suffolk Mind, said: “All workplaces can do more to prevent mental ill health, and signing the Time to Change pledge is a great way to start. I know Vertas will take this pledge seriously, encouraging staff to find out more, taking care of themselves and the people around them, and creating an environment that’s great for mental health.” 

Ian Surtees MBA, Chief Executive Officer at Vertas Group, said: “The wellbeing of our people is at the top of the agenda at Vertas, and I’m delighted to be pledging my commitment to this initiative. Ending Mental Health Discrimination in the workplace is an important part of our wellbeing strategy as a whole.” 

Photo credit – Ian Surtees, Jon Neal and Vertas Group Senior Leaders, taken by Simply C Photography

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