2 Sisters steps up to act on mental health

2 Sisters Food Group has signed an employer pledge with Time to Change, the growing social movement run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness which supports people to discuss their mental health problems.

Being one of the first food manufacturers to sign, the business has taken a strong lead by committing to change the way it thinks and acts about mental health in the workplace.

CEO Ronald Kers has pledged his support to Time to Change with an action plan of activity that will help to break the silence that surrounds mental health in the workplace.

Ronald said: “We are proud to be supporting Time to Change, we have 20,000 colleagues and have a responsibility to offer support to them in all aspects of their working day.

“We quite rightly give such a focus on other areas of our duty of care, such as workplace safety, but mental health, and its awareness, is equally important. That’s why I’m delighted our teams will be supporting this initiative.”

Tracey Sanderson, Lead Occupational Health Advisor- Meal Solutions, added: “We have invested in training colleagues across our sites to be mental health ‘first aiders’ and will be carrying out various activities during mental wellbeing week, such as health and wellbeing checks and introducing good mood food into our canteens.

“We’ll be encouraging colleagues to take time out and have a chat about anything that is troubling them over a coffee during ‘Time to Talk’ day on 7 February.”

2 Sisters joins more than 450 organisations that have signed up to the Time to Change pledge, including E.ON, British Gas, Ernst & Young, Royal Mail, Barclays, Shell, Pepsico, and Marks and Spencer.

Jo Loughran, Interim Director of Time to Change, said: “We know it can be hard to talk about mental health, which is why we’re supporting employers to open up; to talk and to listen. Too many people with mental health problems are made to feel isolated, ashamed and worthless, but with the right support, those of us with mental health problems can recover and have equal opportunities in all areas of life. Everyone’s attitude makes a difference and it’s fantastic to see organisations like 2 Sisters Food Group taking the lead.

“Many leading employers have found that making a strategic commitment to the mental wellbeing of their workforce not only benefits their staff but also their bottom-line, improving productivity and staff retention. With one in six British workers experiencing mental illness it’s time for businesses to make a change and start creating more mentally healthy workplaces.

Time to Change is funded by the Department of Health, Comic Relief and the Big Lottery Fund. Set up to create a positive shift in public attitudes towards mental health problems, Time to Change supports communities, schools and workplaces to open up to mental health problems; to talk and to listen.

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