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WORCESTERSHIRE BECOMES AMBASSADOR FOR CHANGE

Home / News & Opportunities / Member News

Date: 14/05/2018

Worcestershire has been chosen as one of a handful of areas in England to change how we all think and act about mental health locally.

The County has been picked to be a Time to Change Hub by social movement Time to Change.
 
The hubs have been created to combine the insights from the national mental health campaign with local knowledge to support communities, workplaces and schools to take action to end negative attitudes and behaviours towards people experiencing mental health problems in their communities.

Time to Change Worcestershire is made up of Worcestershire Health and Wellbeing Board, Worcestershire County Council, Community First, Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, The University of Worcester, Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, West Mercia Police, Redditch and Bromsgrove District Councils, Unison, and local champions.
 
Time to Change, the national campaign run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, launched its first regional hubs in March 2017.  The announcement of four further hubs including Worcestershire (others will be in Waltham Forest, Nottingham, Bristol) is part of the campaign’s three year plan to establish a network of hubs across England to provide a focus for local campaigning work.
 
Dr Frances Howie, Director of Public Health said: "We are delighted that Worcestershire won the bid to host this work and become a real ambassador both in the Midlands and the United Kingdom for Mental Health. There is a wealth of excellent work currently taking place across the county to increase awareness of mental health problems and tackle stigma and discrimination and we feel that the hub will substantially build on this.
 
"We want to create a movement where people feel comfortable talking about mental health problems and don't feel ashamed accessing the support that they need. We are looking forward to working together with our partners and volunteers across the county to make a real difference to change how we think and act about mental health problems."
 
The county has been recognised for its commitment alongside local partnerships for
embedding anti-stigma and discrimination work within their own organisations. In winning this award, it has also showcased its ability to campaign for change in their communities. This successful bid also required candidates to ensure people with personal experience of mental health problems at the heart of their work.
 
Too many people with mental health problems are made to feel isolated, ashamed and worthless. But with the right support from those around them, people can recover and have equal opportunities in all areas of life. Encouraging people to open up to mental health – to talk and to listen – is the first step.
 
Laney Walsh, Time to Change Champion added: "As a Time to Change champion for several years I am thrilled to see that Worcestershire has been chosen to be a local hub across the West Midlands. As a rural community made up of such a vastly different demography, and across a large geographical area, our communities often miss out to hugely important services in favour of larger cities. It is highly important that our communities and wider society are made aware, and given the opportunity from the allocation of the time to change hub".
 
"It is vital that we encourage each and every business, public service, education facility, voluntary service, and person across our community to become active participants in the breaking down of barriers surrounding mental health illness. The hub provides us with the ability and resources to start to channel the energy into dispelling the myth. It's time to talk because it really is time to change in Worcestershire."
 
Since their initial launch, Time to Change regional hubs have successfully campaigned to end mental health stigma and discrimination. Their work has ranged from closing down a stigmatising game ‘experience’ where participants are challenged to escape from a scary ‘asylum’ to supporting Time to Talk Day (1 February 2018) and running events to delivering PR campaigns aimed at improving understanding and respect for people living with a mental health problem.