Ceremony to mark council's pledge to tackle stigma of mental health

TIME TO CHANGE: From left, Sue Baker, Coun John Wilson, Coun Michael Bevan, Coun Peter Finney and Catherine Driscoll

TIME TO CHANGE: From left, Sue Baker, Coun John Wilson, Coun Michael Bevan, Coun Peter Finney and Catherine Driscoll

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Trainee Reporter

DORSET County Council has become one of the first local authorities to sign a pledge to help tackle the stigma surrounding mental health.

The Time to Change ceremony was held on Thursday, and was opened by Councillor John Wilson, chairman of Dorset County Council.

The national director of the Time to Change programme, Sue Baker, also attended the ceremony, which took place at the Dorford Centre in Dorchester.

Ms Baker said: “This pledge is many things but one of the most important things is that the council itself has to set out its strategy for looking after the mental health and well-being of its own workforce.”

She praised Dorset for its successful number of partnerships focusing on improving attitudes towards people with mental health problems.

“There’s a huge amount of energy, enthusiasm and activity. I think that’s possible because of local leadership and great partnership working.”

The ceremony was attended by over 40 guests, including representatives from Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust, the largest provider of healthcare in Dorset.

In 2010, Dorset County Council became the first local authority in England to appoint a member champion for mental health, Councillor Michael Bevan.

Ms Baker commended the councillor for his passion and for taking the issue of addressing stigma and discrimination to a ‘new level’ that has not been seen before.

She said: “He’s the inspiration behind this national scheme to get mental health champions in every authority.”

Cllr Bevan said that having a band of officers with an awareness of mental health issues helped ensure the right facilities were put in place.

He said: “I know that government cuts don’t help, which is why I’m trying to fight as much as I possibly can to retain as much money to promote mental health and I’ve got a good bunch of officers who will help to try and do that.”

Comments (3)

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1:59pm Sun 26 Jan 14

HAROLDAMAIO says...

help tackle the stigma surrounding mental health


A newspaper supporting a claim of “stigma?” I am not sure how this came to be, but it is wholly unethical.

Harold A. Maio, retired Mental Health Editor
help tackle the stigma surrounding mental health A newspaper supporting a claim of “stigma?” I am not sure how this came to be, but it is wholly unethical. Harold A. Maio, retired Mental Health Editor HAROLDAMAIO
  • Score: 1

3:51pm Sun 26 Jan 14

Fred Kite says...

Hypocrites!
Hypocrites! Fred Kite
  • Score: 0

12:01pm Mon 27 Jan 14

David_divenghy2 says...

Someone has probably found a way to exploit a hefty grant or other funding to fill their boots somewhere
Someone has probably found a way to exploit a hefty grant or other funding to fill their boots somewhere David_divenghy2
  • Score: 1

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