What we've achieved
One of the first things the Mental Health Network achieved was to make Suffolk County Council one of the first local government organisations in the country to implement a Mental Health Policy in April 2013. The policy was updated in 2016 and was supplemented with a Mental Health Toolkit.
The policy was a cornerstone in the aim to get the organisation to sign the Time to Change Pledge. The pledge was signed by a previous Chief Executive, Deborah Cadman and the then Lead of the Council Mark Bee on the World Mental Health Day in October 2014.
From the outset, our network wanted to make awareness training available for both managers and front-line staff. After much hard work, this was achieved by working closely with the Working Well for Suffolk Strategy Implementation Group. During the autumn of 2014 train-the-trainer courses were delivered by Acas with support from Public Health England to 24 employees across the council. The 24 facilitators committed to deliver the Positive Mental Health Management workshops to managers within the council.
The positive effects of these workshops are evidenced in the changed behaviour of the attendees, who have reported they feel more confident in talking mental health with their teams.
Time To Talk Day
Time To Talk Day is coordinated by Time to Change and occurs on the first Thursday in February each year. The 2019 event took place on Thursday 7 February 2019.
Far too often, mental health issues are swept under the carpet, and people don't think they can speak about them. Time To Talk Day brings people together to break this silence. Here in Suffolk, many events take place, and at the council we encourage as many people as possible to talk about mental health on the day itself, whether this is in team meetings, management teams or just informal chats in the office.
It's only by talking about mental health that we can start moving towards a time when mental ill-health and physical ill-health are dealt with in the same way.
World Mental Health Day
World Mental Health Day takes place on 10 October each year, and the overall objective is to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilise efforts in support of good mental health.
Useful links and resources
There are many excellent organisations out there that can help with mental and physical wellbeing.