Mental health largeNorth Yorkshire County Council has signed up to the Charter for Employers who are Positive about Mental Health – and is one of the first organisations in the county to do so.

The County Council has signed the Charter for Employers who are Positive about Mental Health to become a ‘mindful employer’ and is now part of a national initiative is aimed at increasing awareness of mental health in the workplace. It is also committed to providing support to employers in recruiting and retaining staff who may have mental issues or have suffered discrimination in the past.

“Mental health and wellbeing is a very important issue, and this initiative is part of a long term commitment from North Yorkshire County Council” said County Councillor Clare Wood. North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health Integration. “For example, being part of the Mindful Employer programme supports the aims and objectives of the North Yorkshire mental health strategy – called Hope, Control and Choice – and the mental health Crisis Care Concordat work we are doing with our partner organisations.

“This is a voluntary commitment and the Charter gives a clear message that NYCC is positive about mental health and is working to be an exemplar employer. It will form part of a programme of work that includes improving the experiences of people with mental ill-health, and also takes a wider preventative approach to improve the mental health and wellbeing of all our employees.

Given that mental health affects one in four people for a council the size of North Yorkshire County Council this would equate to nearly 5,000 employees”

Being part of the Mindful Employer agreement means that North Yorkshire County Council can build on current good practice and put further initiatives in place to promote good mental health. It also means that NYCC is committed to:

 showing a positive and enabling attitude to employees and job applicants with mental health

issues – this will include positive statements in local recruitment literature;

 ensuring that all staff involved in recruitment and selection are briefed on mental health

issues and the Disability Discrimination Act, and given interview skills training;

 making it clear in any recruitment or occupational health check that people who have

experienced mental health issues will not be discriminated against, and that the disclosure

of a mental health problem will enable both employee and employer to assess and provide

the right level of support or adjustment;

 not making assumptions that a person with a mental health issue will be more vulnerable to

workplace stress or take more time off than  any other employee or job applicant;

 providing non-judgmental and proactive support to individual staff who experience mental

health issues; and

 ensuring all line managers have information and training about managing mental health in

the workplace.

For more information about the Mindful Employer programme please go to

http://www.mindfulemployer.net/charter/