A diverse range of businesses converged on Stormont on Tuesday, October 10 to mark World Mental Health Day which this year places a special focus on ‘Mental Health in the Workplace’.
Local companies from the public and private sectors, from banks, to food producers met for a Business Breakfast to celebrate efforts to promote healthy and resilient workplaces with Action Mental Health (AMH) and the AMH Belfast Employers’ Forum
The theme of this year’s event, set by the World Federation for Mental Health, was addressed by The Equality Commission and the Labour Relations Agency, addressing the importance of the Mental Health Charter and its relevance to the workplace.
The Mental Health Charter encourages business to adopt best practice in the workplace based on five commitments, chief among them to create a workplace culture which respects those with mental ill health and to promote equality of opportunity for those with mental ill health.
The event, was hosted by Kellie Armstrong, Alliance Party MLA for Strangford. As participants attended the early morning event, Stormont was shining a light on World Mental Health Day by being illuminated in purple, setting the example for a number of other civic buildings across Northern Ireland also going purple for the event.
David Babington, chief executive of Action Mental Health commented: “As we mark World Mental Health Day, with its particular focus on ‘Mental Health in the Workplace’, there is a raft of startling and alarming statistics which clearly underline the need for events like these – and the need for businesses to sign up to the Mental Health Charter.
A number of organisations marked the special occasion by signing up to the Mental Health Charter including the Labour Relations Agency, the CBI, Telestack and Mercer.
CBI director Angela McGowan said: “The CBI hopes to lead the way in encouraging other local businesses, which have yet to sign up to the Mental Health Charter, to consider adopting its ideals.
“By embracing its five commitments we can all help create more positive and tolerant workplaces for those living with mental