At our Open Meeting last Tuesday, 20 October, Healthwatch Kingston signed the Time to Change Employer pledge. We were joined online via Zoom by the staff team, trustees, members of the local community, volunteers and NHS colleagues, who all witnessed the signing.
Our Chief Officer, Stephen Bitti, shared his experiences of mental health and some of the challenges he has faced and how this manifests in all aspects of his life, including at work. Healthwatch Kingston staff members were also invited to share their experiences of mental health, including how they have had to adapt during the pandemic and the challenges this has brought up.
Everyone working at Healthwatch Kingston was in agreement that they felt supported and able to discuss their mental health openly within the context of the work place. The action plan will further imbed a culture which reduces stigma when talking about mental health while at work. It includes actions around checking-in with colleagues on their mental health during team meetings, having open discussions and offering peer-to-peer support.
You can watch the full online event of the pledge signing in the video below.