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Business leaders call for mandatory mental health first aid at work

An Open Letter to the Prime Minister signed by more than 50 leaders of some of Britain’s biggest employers including Mace, PwC, Royal Mail, WHSmith, Ford and Thames Water is today calling on the Government to prioritise its manifesto pledge to amend health and safety legislation to put mental and physical first aid on an equal footing. Signed by industry leaders from banking, retail, education and mental health sectors, the letter advises that the Government prioritises its manifesto pledge to amend the Health and Safety regulations, ensuring workplaces are required to make provision for mental as well as physical first aid.

Fionuala Bonnar, Chief Operating Officer, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England Commented. “Today’s open letter shows that business leaders clearly recognise the need to support their employees’ mental health in the same way they do their physical health.

“The change in legislation we are calling for will establish a baseline for protecting mental health in the workplace, ensuring no one is left behind. This is just one part of improving approaches to workplace mental health, but it represents an important step forward. Ensuring that first aid support is there for the millions of people who struggle with their mental health every year will make a big difference to how we all think about our health as a whole.”

The Open Letter follows the delivery of a petition of over 200,000 public signatures to 10 Downing Street as part of a mental health campaign called ‘Where’s Your Head At?’ founded by Natasha Devon MBE, Mental Health First Aid England and Bauer Media, which has received cross-party backing. MPs from across the political spectrum originally showed their support for the issue by signing an Early Day Motion tabled by Norman Lamb MP in October 2016.

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