UK Athletics signed the Time to Change employer pledge during the Müller Grand Prix Birmingham on Saturday 18 August, as the organisation aims to challenge the negative associations of mental health issues by striving to be a supportive, informed and progressive employer.
The pledge was signed by UK Athletics Chair Richard Bowker, and Chief Executive Niels De Vos with Time to Change Director Jo Loughran, in front of thousands of athletics fans attending the event, as well as athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers, underlining the organisations commitment to the pledge.
As the governing body for the sport of athletics in the United Kingdom, UKA has pledged to demonstrate our commitment to promoting wellness and good mental health to our employees. UKA will also create a safe and supportive environment so that issues of mental health can be openly discussed. Workplaces with quality mental health support embedded within their practice is better prepared to offer support to those it works with.
It is reported that 1 in 4 British workers are affected by conditions like anxiety, depression and stress every year. Looking after the mental health of employees and tackling stigma can make a real difference to sickness absence rates, presenteeism levels, staff wellbeing and productivity, and retention.
UKA will put a programme in place to enable the culture within the organisation to view mental health proactively and with support and openness; this is with the intention of helping the workforce live healthy and mindful lives.
This landmark follows a series of mental health awareness activities/workshops throughout 2018 within the organisation, that have been implemented to promote positive conversations around mental health.
Richard Bowker, Chair of UK Athletics added:
“We are delighted to be signing the Time to Change employer pledge at the Müller Birmingham Grand Prix on Saturday. It is an important part of our wider commitment to promoting good mental health and well-being, which will not only support the people who work for UKA but also makes us better prepared to support those we work alongside.
“UK Athletics is determined to improve conversations around mental health at all levels of the sport. By signing this pledge, we will improve the experience of our people, the knowledge of our organisation and deliver a positive impact across the sport and those that we interact with on a daily basis.”