Channel 4 has become the first broadcaster in England to sign Time to Change’s pledge to tackle mental health stigma. Time to Change is England’s leading anti-discrimination programme run by the mental health charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.
Director of Time to Change Sue Baker said: “This is the first time we have seen a major broadcaster committing to tackle the stigma that people with mental health problems experience. This is really setting the standard and we hope that others will follow their lead.
“In recent weeks we have seen a surge in people disclosing their mental health problems from MPs to Olympians. Now, Channel 4 is an influential addition to our movement for change.”
Channel 4′s Director of Human Resources Diane Herbert, signed the pledge at the launch last night for 4 Goes Mad a bold season of primetime programming challenging mental health stigma – particularly in the workplace, which airs next week. The signing was witnessed by MPs including Kevan Jones MP who recently spoke out about his own depression in parliament and Sir Peter Bottomley MP as well as leading mental health organisations and advocates. The event, hosted at Channel 4′s Horseferry Road headquarters included a performance by Ruby Wax and a panel discussion chaired by Jon Snow.
Diane Herbert said: “I am delighted to have signed a pledge to Time to Change’s important campaign to end mental health stigma on behalf of Channel 4. With one in four of us likely to experience a mental health condition in our lifetime, the Channel is proud to support this campaign to challenge the discrimination and prejudice that so for many can prove an even bigger burden that the illness itself.”
Channel 4 joins the wide range of organisations already signed up to the Time to Change Pledge, including the Football Association, the Premier League, Universities, BT, Eon, NHS Trusts, Primary Care Trusts, local authorities, Transport for London, Citizen’s Advice, and police forces.