Channel 4 has become the first broadcaster in England to sign the Time to Change pledge to show their commitment to tackling mental health discrimination.

Time to Change, England’s leading anti-discrimination programme run by the mental health charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, attended a jam packed launch event last night for the channel’s mental health season ‘4 Goes Mad’ where Director of Human Resources Diane Herbert, signed the pledge.

The pledge signing was witnessed by MPs, leading businesses and charities, celebrities and mental health advocates alike. The support shows a further commitment since Channel 4 announced the bold season of prime-time programming, which will challenge mental health stigma and discrimination – particularly in the workplace. The season also hopes to tackle the ingrained prejudice that surrounds mental health in Britain today.

Time to Change has worked closely with Channel 4 on the ‘4 Goes Mad’ season, helping to advise on the concept and approach,  providing background and statistical information and finding contributors for the shows. Work will now continue with Channel 4 to look at further ways in which the broadcaster can show their support in ending mental health discrimination.

Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change, said: “This is the first time we have seen a major broadcaster committing to tackle the stigma that people with mental health problems experience. This is really setting the standard and we hope that others in the media industry will follow their lead.

“In recent weeks we have seen a surge in people disclosing their mental health problems from MPs to Olympians. Now, Channel 4 is an influential addition to our movement for change.”

Diane Herbert, Director of Human Resources at Channel 4, said: “I am delighted to have signed a pledge to Time to Change’s important campaign to end mental health stigma on behalf of Channel 4. With one in four of us likely to experience a mental health condition in our lifetime, the Channel is proud to support this campaign to challenge the discrimination and prejudice that so for many can prove an even bigger burden that the illness itself.”

Channel 4 join the wide movement of organisations that have signed up to the Time to Change Pledge, including the FA, the Premier League, Universities, BT, Eon, NHS Trusts, Primary Care Trusts, local authorities, Transport for London, Citizen’s Advice, and police forces.