HEALTH bosses in west Cheshire have signed up to end the stigma and discrimination against people who experience mental health problems.

Members of the NHS Vale Royal Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have signed pledges as part of the Time to Change campaign.

They have agreed to carry out a range of activities to support staff and promote better understanding of mental health problems as part of the national anti-stigma programme, which is run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.

The pledge signing took place at Chester Town Hall as part of an Altogether Better West Cheshire Partnership Networking Event and Wellbeing Strategy Summit.

It marked Time to Talk Day, part of the Time to Change campaign which aims to start a million conversations about mental health, an important first step in reducing stigma.

Dr Jean Jenkins, from NHS Vale Royal CCG, said: “Mental health illness is one of the biggest causes of absence in the NHS, affecting one in four people during their working lives.

“People with mental health problems often suffer from discrimination and employment issues, more so than any other disability.

“By signing this pledge on behalf of the CCG, we hope to help our workforce manage their health and provide them with support for any issues they experience.”

Time to Change is funded by the Department of Health, Comic Relief, and the Big Lottery Fund.