Vera Baird DBE KC

Writer, Lecturer, Parliamentary Consultant and Co-Director of Astraea: Gender Justice

OPCC signs up as a Mindful Employer

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria has signed up as a Mindful Employer.

Commissioner Dame Vera Baird QC is now a signatory for the voluntary charter, which encourages organisations to show a positive attitude to employees and job applicants with mental health issues.

The Commissioner joins almost 1,900 organisations that have joined the charter for employers who are positive about mental health since it was launched in 2004.

At least 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their life. A survey by Mind revealed that nearly 9 in 10 (87 per cent) emergency services staff and volunteers surveyed have experienced stress, low mood and poor mental health at some point while working for the emergency service.

As a signatory of the Mindful Employer charter, organisations should work towards ensuring that all staff involved in recruitment and selection are briefed on mental health issues and The Equality Act 2010, and given appropriate interview skills. Equally, all line managers should have information and training about managing mental health in the workplace.

Dame Vera Baird QC said: “We are a relatively small office but it’s important that we make an ongoing commitment to the well-being of our team and those who apply to work with us. That’s why we’ve signed up to the Mindful Employer charter. We are serious about giving our employees access to help and support they may need, when they need it.

“People who have mental health issues may have experienced discrimination in the recruitment process – we want to make it that in Northumbria, we show a positive and enabling attitude to employees and job applicants with mental health issues”.

In 2016 PCC Vera Baird signed the Blue Light Time to Change Pledge on behalf of Northumbria Police demonstrating their commitment to challenge mental health stigma and promote positive wellbeing within the service. That year Northumbria also joined the UK’s first emergency service mental health network after Tyneside and Northumberland Mind secured £100,000 in funding to create a North East mental health network for the emergency services.



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