A petition to make it a legal requirement for workplaces to have a mental health first aider has reached almost 200,000 signatures, and will be taken to parliament in October.
Where's Your Head At? was launched by Bauer Media, Mental Health First Aid England and Natasha Devon MBE, a Body Image & Mental Health Campaigner. The campaign aims to change the law to give mental health equal importance to physical health in the workplace. So far we have garnered 188,000 signatures.
As well as Bauer Media brands such as Grazia, heat, Empire, Absolute Radio and Kiss, the campaign has the backing of prominent business leaders such as Andy Barrett, Chairman & Managing Director, Ford of Britain; Stephen Clarke, Chief Executive, WH Smith, John Kirkland, Chairman, Bowmer & Kirkland and David Hynam, CEO of BUPA.
It has also been backed by The Centre of Mental Health and The Samaritans.
The petition, which has also received support from celebrities including Professor Green, Peter Andre, Tom & Giovanna Fletcher and the 2018 Love Island contestants, will be taken to Downing Street by Nastasha Devon, and reps for Bauer Media and Mental Health First Aid England on 8 October. Luciana Berger MP will present the petition to parliament.
Mental ill-health is costing the economy around £99 billion each year, and 12.5 million working days are lost to work-related stress, depression or anxiety.
Last week, Prince William launch a new Heads Together project focused on improving workplace wellbeing, and the CBI has called for workplaces and employers to place mental health and wellbeing front of mind.
Paul Keenan, CEO of Bauer Media, said: “The support from the public and business leaders for this law change means this can no longer be ignored. We are seeking a seismic change in how mental health is viewed in the UK and urge other business leaders who agree this law change would benefit their business and their people to stand with us."
And Nastasha Devon added: “Since sharing my story, I’ve been inundated with messages from the public telling me their own experiences involving mental health difficulties being treated as a character flaw or lack of professionalism at work. These are bright, hardworking people who would be an asset to any work place, but they are often currently unemployed because of how they were treated. Attitudes and culture desperately need to change so that people can be properly supported. Having mental health first aiders in every work place will, I believe, be an integral part of this.“
We still need your help! If you haven't yet signed the petition, click here to do so.