Corporate fitness provider Gympass has signed the Time to Change employer pledge to tackle the potential stigma surrounding workplace mental health and raise awareness of mental wellbeing among its 31 UK-based employees.
The Time to Change employer pledge, a social movement operated by mental health charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, is a public commitment made by an organisation to change how it thinks about mental health in the workplace, also ensuring that staff experiencing mental health problems feel supported. Approximately 1,000 businesses have signed the employer pledge to date.
Gympass formally signed the Time to Change pledge at its UK head office on Thursday 2 May 2019.
Pietro Carmignani, chief executive office for UK and Ireland at Gympass, said: “This pledge is extremely important to our organisation. We are committed to help end mental health discrimination and the first step is to start close to home with our [employees].”
As part of the Time to Change pledge, employers have to create an action plan that addresses workplace mental health. Gympass’ action plan includes designing and implementing a specific mental health policy, building an organisational culture where staff feel comfortable and supported, and hosting wellness breakfasts and events.
The organisation is also working to empower mental health champions across the business to organise events for peers; for example, during this month’s Mental Health Awareness Week, staff organised lunch and learn sessions about stress in the workplace and destigmatising mental health, held a wellbeing walk through London Fields and hosted a wellness breakfast for the entire team.
Carmignani added: “With the help of the Time to Change team, we created an internal mental health policy comprising hosting events, training our employees and providing a clear framework to support those with mental health problems. I firmly believe by doing this we can make a difference in ending mental health discrimination and I’m proud to be engaging in this very important initiative.”
The Time to Change commitment forms part of Gympass’ wider wellbeing strategy, which also includes anti-smoking campaigns, a cycle-to-work scheme and flexible working hours.
Other organisations that have signed the Time to Change pledge are British Gas, Transport for London, Royal Mail, Barclays, Marks and Spencer and Shell.
Jo Loughran, director at Time to Change, said: “We’re delighted to see Gympass take the Time to Change employers pledge. By signing the pledge and introducing a specific mental health policy, mental health ambassadors and the curation of internal employee stories, Gympass is demonstrating a real commitment to changing the way we all think and act about mental health in the workplace.
“Many leading employers have found that making a strategic commitment to the mental wellbeing of their workforce not only benefits their staff but also their bottom line, improving productivity and staff retention.”