The Pledge, which marks part of the UK Time to Change mental health campaign launched in 2007, is supported by a free-of-charge 12-month Employer Action Plan founded on the principles of the 2017 Thriving at Work Report and built upon evidence-based interventions researched by the Time to Change Employers Team.
So far, over 1,400 organisations – employing over three million people – have now signed the pledge, and 95 per cent of these employers have said that it has had a positive impact on their organisation.
Allianz Partners UK signed the pledge on 6 February 2020 – on Time to Talk Day. And, on the same day, the organisation also created an area within its workplace called the ‘employee hub’, where staff were able to go to discuss mental health over tea and cake. This also included interactive activities, such as a board game centred around mental health awareness messages. Allianz UK will be encouraging team meetings to include similar activities from now on, to help normalise discussions about mental health.
Phil Murfet, Learning and Development Adviser at Allianz Partners UK, explained that mental health in the workplace was a huge focus for the company this year. “Our professionally trained mental health first aiders and mental health champions offer employers confidential support and a friendly face to discuss any issues that they may be struggling with,” he added. “Signing the Time to Change Employer Pledge formalises our commitment to implementing best-practice interventions and policy to help staff work in ways that promote positive mental wellbeing.”
Murfet also noted that the firm was very much looking forward to developing new and different initiatives over the year to get more and more people involved: “In doing so, we will not only reduce the stigma associated with mental health within our organisation, but we are also contributing to changing attitudes beyond the workplace.”
Jo Loughran, Director of Time to Change, added: “We know it can be hard to talk about mental health, which is why we work with employers to encourage staff at all levels to open up; to talk and to listen. Everyone’s attitude makes a difference and it’s fantastic to see organisations like Allianz Partners UK taking the lead.”