Time to Change, England’s biggest mental health anti-stigma programme, has announced British Gas as the latest organisation to pledge their support in tackling mental health discrimination in the workplace, joining some of the country’s major employers including Ernst & Young and Transport for London (TfL).

A pledge signing ceremony has taken place at the British Gas offices in Staines and representatives from the company have pledged their support to Time to Change, which is run by the mental health charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. Through this commitment British Gas will promote a better understanding of mental health problems while offering support and welfare advice to their staff.

Other individuals, groups and organisations who have also signed the Time to Change pledge include the Archbishop of Canterbury, the FA, the Premier League, universities, BT, E.On, NHS trusts, Primary Care Trusts, local authorities, Citizen’s Advice, and police forces.

Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change, said: “It is fantastic that more and more organisations are showing their support in tackling the stigma experienced by people with mental health problems. Employees and their staff can all play a part in helping to stamp out stigma and companies like British Gas are taking a lead.

“Many leading companies have found that making a strategic commitment to the mental wellbeing of their workforce not only has benefits for their staff but also benefits their bottom-line, improving productivity and staff retention. With one in four people experiencing mental illness it’s time for businesses to work on their approach and start creating more mentally healthy workplaces.”

Angela Williams, HR Director, British Gas said: “The Time to Change partnership is part of our ongoing commitment to address and support mental health issues in the workplace. We are encouraging our people to be more open about mental health and to seek help earlier, meaning they are less likely to end up in crisis and more likely to be able to stay in work, therefore reducing instances of Mental Health related illness. Additional support that we have available for our employees, include access to an Employee Assistance Programme; an early referral system to our Occupational Health Team and the recent launch of a Resilience Toolkit.

“We have been working with the Time to Change Programme at British Gas for the last 9 months and so far we have held 13 events across the business, supporting over 1,000 colleagues all of which have been incredibly well received.”