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University and Students’ Union sign mental health pledge

The University of Gloucestershire and its Students’ Union have signed a pledge towards creating a more ‘mentally healthy’ workplace.

The University’s Vice-Chancellor, Stephen Marston, and Students’ Union Community Officer, Hope Fawsitt, signed a Time to Change Employer Pledge. The Pledge is a statement of intent that indicates to students, employees and the public that the university wants to tackle the stigma and discrimination around mental health, focusing on the workplace.

Mental health problems are common. But nearly nine out of ten people who experience them say they face stigma and discrimination as a result. This can be even worse than the symptoms themselves.

Time to Change, run by Mind and ReThink Mental Health, is England’s biggest programme to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination.

The pledge is a commitment backed by a University of Gloucestershire-specific action plan which details activities that the university will undertake. The university will be joining a growing movement of more than 350 employers in England, across all sectors, who are working to tackle mental health stigma and to help keep their staff well for work.

Stephen Marston, University of Gloucestershire Vice-Chancellor, said: “The University of Gloucestershire is committed to supporting staff and students to achieve their full potential, and to building an inclusive environment where all can flourish and succeed.

“By signing the ‘Time to Change Pledge’ we are making a public statement of our aspirations to tackle mental ill health and the stigma that surrounds it.”

Hope Fawsitt, University of Gloucestershire Students’ Union Community Officer, said: “We are really pleased to have signed the ‘Time to Change Pledge’; it’s something we’ve worked hard to achieve. Raising awareness of mental health issues and the support available has been high on our agenda over the last couple of years.”