Supporting World Mental Health Day

SSE is supporting World Mental Health Day by signing an employer pledge with Time to Change. 

Time to Change is a growing social movement run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness which aims to help people open up about mental health problems. 

Alistair Phillips-Davies, chief executive office at SSE, signed the pledge in SSE’s head office in Perth alongside colleagues from across the business. The pledge commits SSE to launching an action plan of activity that will help to break the silence and stigma that can surround mental health in the workplace.

SSE has a strong track record of putting in place programs designed to support customers with mental health difficulties. SSE’s customer service staff were given additional dementia training to help them better support customers and families dealing with dementia. SSE also worked with the University of Strathclyde to produce a booklet for customers and family members living with dementia.  

SSE is also making use of its sponsorship deals at some of the UK’s top entertainment venues to support World Mental Health Day. The SSE Hydro in Glasgow will be lit up in pink, the colour of the Scottish Associate for Mental Health, and the SSE Arena Wembley will display messages of support for World Mental Health Day.   

Alistair Phillips-Davies, chief executive of SSE said:
“I know from personal experience that working under pressure can take its toll and I’m proud SSE has signed up to the Time to Change pledge and is supporting World Mental Health Day. At SSE we have committed to giving mental health the same priority that we have traditionally given to physical safety and wellbeing. With 1 in 4 people across the UK affected by poor mental health each year, it’s vital our colleagues know if they’re having difficulty, the support and understanding is there.”

SSE is one of over 450 organisations that have signed up to the Time to Change pledge, including E.ON, British Gas, Ernst & Young, Transport for London, Royal Mail, Barclays, Shell, Pepsico, the Church of England, Sunday Mirror, Marks and Spencer, and many NHS trusts, universities, and local authorities.

Jo Loughran, Interim Director of Time to Change, said: 
“We know it can be hard to talk about mental health, which is why we’re supporting employers to open up; to talk and to listen. Too many people with mental health problems are made to feel isolated, ashamed and worthless, but with the right support, those of us with mental health problems can recover and have equal opportunities in all areas of life. Everyone’s attitude makes a difference and it’s fantastic to see organisations like SSE taking the lead.

“Many leading employers have found that making a strategic commitment to the mental wellbeing of their workforce not only benefits their staff but also  their bottom-line, improving productivity and staff retention. With one in six British workers experiencing mental illness it's time for businesses to make a change and start creating more mentally healthy workplaces."

Time to Change is funded by the Department of Health, Comic Relief and the Big Lottery Fund. Set up to create a positive shift in public attitudes towards mental health problems, Time to Change supports communities, schools and workplaces to open up to mental health problems; to talk and to listen.