timetochangeAhead of this year's Time to Talk Day [5 Feb] the professional body for HR and people development has announced it is taking part by engaging with its members and stakeholders about the importance of promoting good mental health.

Time to Talk Day has been introduced by anti-stigma campaign Time to Change to inspire people to take 5 minutes of their day to have a conversation about mental health.

According to the CIPD’s latest Absence Management survey, 42% of employers said they had seen an increase in reported mental health problems in the past year, compared to just 21% in 2009.

Research Advisor Dr Jill Miller believes that CIPD members can benefit themselves commercially by commiting to putting time aside for employees mental health needs.

"Overall it’s now estimated that 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health issue at some point in our working lives – we talk about physical health quite freely, so why can’t we talk about mental health in the workplace? That’s why Time to Talk day is incredibly important, as it encourages more awareness about mental health issues and the ways in which we can support ourselves and others," she said.

"Just a short conversation can make a big difference to someone and lets them know they’re not on their own. Anyone can suffer a mental health problem, and often those who have an issue feel too afraid to report it to their employer as the stigma against them is still widespread - this cannot be allowed to continue.

“It’s important that managers feel equipped enough to talk to employees about mental health, and know where to find the support they need to do this. Organisations should adopt a positive attitude towards those experiencing or recovering from mental health issues, as they would for those with physical health problems. Equally with recruitment, where possible, reasonable adjustments should be made to ensure people with a mental health problem are able to enter employment and make a positive contribution to organisations."

To find out more on Time to Talk visit www.time-to-change.org.uk/timetotalkday