Telford College has added its support to a new mental health charter, launched by Shropshire Chamber of Commerce.

The charter has been created to recognise employers who are going the extra mile to look after the welfare of their staff.

By signing up to the charter, Telford College pledges to adopt three key principles:

  • Engaging with and embracing the mental health agenda
  • Reducing the stigma surrounding mental health in the workplace
  • Identifying and providing sources of information and support regarding mental health

Graham Guest, Telford College’s principal and chief executive, said: “We cannot afford to underestimate the toll which the Covid-19 pandemic has taken on young people’s mental health.

“Not being able to see their friends, coupled with nationwide uncertainty around exams planning, and the general restrictions on family life, have left their mark.

“Telford College is working hard to create an environment where it’s OK to say you are not OK – and to ensure there is always someone to talk to.

“We encourage everyone to look out for early signs of mental health problems, and make sure that students know we are here to support and listen to them.

“All around our campus you will see reminders of our #BeKind campaign, which highlights the importance of taking the crucial first step of acknowledging and talking about our mental health.

“We also give all our staff and students access to a free mental health service called Togetherall.

“It provides users with a place of safety without judgement for people to support each other, offering clinical expertise and peer-to-peer support through a healthy community that is monitored 24 hours a day.”

Richard Sheehan, Shropshire Chamber of Commerce’s chief executive, said: “Everyone in the workplace has a right to an environment which promotes good mental health and wellbeing.

“And from an employer’s point of view, it’s a win-win situation, because a happy employee is a more loyal and productive employee.”