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Royal Opera House commits to tackling mental health stigma within organisation

Royal Opera House. Photo: Laika AC
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London’s Royal Opera House has signed a pledge to change the way it approaches mental health – which will see the recruitment of dedicated mental health champions within the organisation.

The pledge has been signed with Time to Change, a growing social movement run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, which supports people to open up about mental health problems.

By signing, the ROH is committing to changing the way the organisation approaches mental health in the workplace.

The organisation has created a plan of activity to open up the conversation around mental health, which will include the recruitment of volunteers from its current workforce to be employee champions, who will be trained to open up discussion on mental health and guide people to support services.

The ROH has also introduced training for departments and managers on how to handle difficult conversations with employees, and is creating a set of mental health values for the organisation.

ROH chief executive Alex Beard said: “I want to make sure the Royal Opera House is a truly great place to work.

“A huge part of this comes down to mental health awareness, particularly how it relates to the workplace and how we talk about it. I am therefore proud to put my full support behind this initiative and commit the Royal Opera House to changing the way we think and act about mental health now and into the future.”

The ROH joins the wider movement of more than 700 organisations that have signed the Time to Change pledge, including British Gas, Ernst and Young, Transport for London and Royal Mail.

Jo Loughran, director of Time to Change, said: “We know it can be hard to talk about mental health, which is why we’re supporting employers to open up; to talk and to listen.

“Too many people with mental health problems are made to feel isolated, ashamed and worthless, but with the right support, those of us with mental health problems can recover and have equal opportunities in all areas of life.”

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