Dyfed Powys Police has joined Hywel Dda University Health Board and others in a national campaign to tackle the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health problems.
Chief Constable Simon Prince signed the Time to Change Wales organisational pledge on behalf of the Force at the official launch on Tuesday, March 24.
Time to Change Wales is the first national campaign to end the stigma and discrimination faced by people with mental health problems in Wales. The campaign is led by Wales’ three leading mental health charities Gofal, Hafal and Mind Cymru and is funded by Comic Relief and the Welsh Government.
Senior members of staff and colleagues from Hywel Dda University Board, who have been instrumental in encouraging Dyfed Powys Police and other emergency services to sign the Time to Change Wales organisational pledge, attended the launch.
Simon Prince, Dyfed Powys Police’s Chief Constable, said: “I am really proud to have signed this pledge on behalf of the Force. This is about looking after our people – members of the public and our staff. We are used to dealing with members of the public with mental health problems, but there is some work to do to make sure that we do the right thing for people with mental health issues. We will work together to end discrimination against people with mental health issues.”
A key focus for the campaign within the Force will be for Time to Change Wales Champions to provide anti-stigma sessions in the workplace. The sessions aim to provide knowledge around mental health issues, helping to change attitudes and give people confidence to talk about mental health issues.
Sara Powys, Project Lead for Time to Change Wales, said: “Time to Change Wales brings together inspirational people with lived experiences of mental health problems to work for social change – to end discrimination and stigma around mental health problems.
“We are thrilled to have Dyfed Powys Police join our campaign. More working days are lost to stress, anxiety and depression than any other illness. Looking after your staff has never been more important than it is now. Yet, there is a massive stigma around mental health problems and a lot of anti-stigma work will be carried out within Dyfed Powys Police and other organisations led by Hywel Dda University Health Board.”
Julie Denley, Hywel Dda University Health Board’s Time to Change Wales Project Leader and Head of Partnerships, said: “We are delighted at the response we have had to the campaign from service users, members of the community, staff, partners, third sector colleagues and more. This is just the start of the journey to work in partnership, with organisations like Dyfed Powys Police, to tackle stigma and discrimination towards mental health in Wales.”
For more information visit www.timetochangewales.org.uk.