West Sussex wins bid to become one of the first Time to Change hubs

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Councils, the NHS, community groups, charities, employers and schools in West Sussex are all coming together to change how we think and act about mental health, as part of a new initiative from Time to Change.

Today West Sussex has been named one of the first Time to Change hubs in England, a new partnership of local organisations and mental health champions committed to improving local attitudes and behaviours towards people experiencing mental health problems.

The new hub is being created to combine the insights from the Time to Change campaign, run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, with local knowledge to support communities, workplaces and schools to take action in their area. It’s part of Time to Change’s broader strategy to embed and sustain its social movement in local communities.

Time to Change West Sussex is led by the local Health and Wellbeing Board and is a partnership between West Sussex County Council, Chichester District Council, Coastal West Sussex Mind, the Pathfinder West Sussex Alliance, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Mental Health Trust, and the Capital Project Trust, local Time to Change champions and regional co-ordinators.

Christine Field, Chairman of West Sussex Health and Wellbeing Board and County Council Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing, said: “This is a really positive step forward as we need to change the way everyone thinks and acts towards mental health problems. Our ultimate goal can be achieved by working more closely with our partners and the community. We want everyone to have the opportunity to reach their potential and live good lives. We are confident that becoming one of the country’s first Time to Change hubs is key to this.”

West Sussex is one of four hubs to be launched along with Cumbria, Leeds and Suffolk. Over the next three years a further 12 hubs will be established across England to provide a focus for local campaigning work.

Katie Glover, Coastal West Sussex Mind, said: “As our hub develops we hope that lots of people who have experienced mental health problems themselves will be inspired and motivated to get involved by becoming champions. Anyone who is interested in contributing should definitely get in touch. This is such an amazing opportunity to do more and do better at changing attitudes and behaviour around mental health locally.”

In order to be named a Time to Change hub, local partnerships have to demonstrate their commitment to:

  • Putting people with personal experience of mental health problems at the heart of their work
  • Embedding anti-stigma and discrimination work locally, whether that be local schools, workplaces and other community settings
  • Proactively campaigning to improve people’s attitudes and behaviours towards mental health.

Jo Loughran, Director of Operations at Time to Change, said: “We’re really pleased to be working with organisations and individuals across West Sussex as part of this exciting new initiative - to use what we’ve learnt from running a successful campaign to unleash our social movement and harness local knowledge and passion.

“Up until now our local work has been driven by the commitment of individual champions, employers and schools. By having hubs in place we’re bringing their work together to ensure the campaign takes root in local communities going forward.”

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