As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, the university has taken the opportunity to sign the Time to Change Employer Pledge in response to matters raised by the Disability and Carers Staff Equality Network Group. The action demonstrates the university's commitment to changing how we think and act about mental health in the institution, ensuring that employees who are facing these difficulties feel supported.
Feedback received from Time to Change was positive regarding the support currently available for staff and students, with special mention given to the Disability and Carers Staff Equality Network Group. The group meet across the university’s different campuses to ‘Soundboard, Signpost and Support’ staff experiencing mental health problems, as well as other disabilities and long-term health conditions and those with caring responsibilities.
The Disability and Carers Staff Equality Network Group is proud to be part of the university’s signing of the Time to Change Employers Pledge and welcome this visible commitment to tackling discrimination around mental health. Co-Chair of the Network Group, Kelly Taft (Research Student Administrator, Grand Parade) said: “It is fantastic that the University has responded to the concerns of the Disability and Carers Staff Equality Network Group and signed the Time to Change Employers Pledge. This commits the university to take action on mental health stigma and ensures that this is prioritised as part of the university’s disability work.
It is integral that mental health is recognised as part of the broader disability agenda. Disabilities can be visible or hidden to others, but everyone deserves the same respect and support.”
Front row, L-R: Jo Hird (Head of Human Resources), Emily Foyle (LGBT+ Staff Network Group co-chair), Kelly Taft (Disability and Carers Staff Network Group co-chair), Professor Debra Humphris, Vice-Chancellor.
Back row, L-R: Amanda Seville (Disability and Carers Staff Network Group co-chair), Jen Friend (Disability Support Services Manager, Student Services), Marianne Lemond (Student Experience and Equalities Manager, Student Services), Sue McHugh (Chief Operating Officer and UMB Disability and Carer Equality Champion), Hannah Kinsey (Equality and Diversity Team Administrator), Momtaz Rahman (Equality Charters and Data Officer), Andrew Duffy (Gender Equality Staff Network Group co-chair), Tessa Marshall (Equalities Engagement Officer).