Today (4 February) is Time to Talk Day, a national campaign to break the silence that often surrounds mental health. Prospects takes mental health seriously and is committed to helping colleagues and customers improve their mental wellbeing.
One in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem every year, which means everyone knows someone who has been affected. Unfortunately people with mental health issues are often stigmatised at home, the workplace and in the media. In TV soaps and drama, 63% of references to mental health were pejorative, flippant or unsympathetic. (Visit the Time to Change website for more facts and figures.)
Prospects was recently awarded Leaders in Diversity status, the highest level of accreditation from the National Centre for Diversity. This recognises our excellence in Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) throughout the organisation, our processes and supply chain. EDI is at the heart of Prospects, and two of our corporate values are ‘Valuing Colleagues’ and ‘Promoting Diversity’.
Prospects helps customers with mental health problems overcome barriers to education, employment and training. Getting a job can be positive for mental health and, as a prime provider of the Work Programme in the South West, Prospects helps thousands of people to find employment that works for them, suiting their skills, experience and any health conditions they may have. An example of this was a project through which Prospects helped customers with health problems to complete a work placement. Click here to read more.
Since 2008 Prospects has run Gloucestershire Youth Support Service, in partnership with Gloucestershire County Council, working with 6,000 vulnerable young people, many with mental health problems. The multi-disciplinary team includes youth workers, family support, health and careers specialists working with police and probation officers. The service won best Public/Private Partnership at the national 2014 Local Government Chronicle (LGC) awards. To learn more about the partnership, click here.
We support colleagues who have mental health problems, including the employee assistance service, a free 24 hour confidential helpline. Prospects has an employee wellbeing policy, launched in response to colleagues’ feedback, and an Equalities and Diversity steering group, which ensures colleagues with mental health problems can access support. We also support campaigns and initiatives, including Mental Health Awareness Week.
For more information about Time to Talk Day, click here. You can follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #timetotalk.