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Legal & General sign up to mental health anti-stigma pledge.

Nigel Wilson, Group Chief Executive
Nigel Wilson
Group Chief Executive

24 May 2013

Nigel Wilson, Group Chief Executive
Nigel Wilson
Group Chief Executive

Legal & General today joined the growing number of companies committing to end the stigma and discrimination against people with experience of mental health problems by signing a pledge with Time to Change, which is a programme run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.

The signing ceremony took place at Legal & General's offices in London. Legal & General's Chief Executive, Nigel Wilson, and Jim Islam the Managing Director of Legal & General Group Protection pledged their support to 'Time to Change', promoting a better understanding of mental health problems while offering support and welfare advice to their staff.

Nigel Wilson, Chief Executive, Legal & General said:

"I am delighted to be sign the Time to Change pledge on behalf of Legal & General. It is vitally important that we talk about mental health and face it head on. The workplace is the best place to do this and I am proud to be showing our commitment to addressing the stigma of mental health today."

Jim Islam, Managing Director of Legal & General Group Protection said:

"With one in four of us likely to be affected by a mental health problem in any given year, we are working together with our customers to address this challenge. Legal & General are making substantial efforts to raise the awareness of mental health issues through our own research and Stress in the City campaign. Signing the pledge today demonstrates our continued commitment to tackling mental health."

In the autumn of 2012, Legal & General ran the Stress in the City campaign aimed at raising the awareness of stress related absences in the workplace and informing employers of the role they have to play in ensuring the mental wellbeing of their staff. Off the back of the campaign, Ed Miliband visited Legal & General's London office in October 2012 to speak to staff and industry experts before delivering a major policy speech on tackling the challenge of mental health.

Over the last year Legal & General have carried out insightful research into the issue of stress and mental health in the workplace. This included research, using Department of Work and Pensions statistics, which revealed that only 17% of employers have any form of stress management advice and support in place for their employees.

Legal & General have a wide variety of services available to those suffering from mental health issues. This includes Legal & General's comprehensive Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), Worklife Solutions provided by PPC Worldwide, which is automatically available to employees covered by Legal & General's Group Income Protection policy. It includes telephone counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) treatment with telephone based support, a legal information service, crisis intervention, medical information, online support and can also provide up to five free face to face counselling sessions.

Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change, said: "It is fantastic that more and more organisations are showing their support in tackling the stigma experienced by people with mental health problems. Employees and their staff can all play a part in helping to stamp out stigma and companies like Legal & General are taking a lead.

"Many leading companies have found that making a strategic commitment to the mental wellbeing of their workforce not only has benefits for their staff but also benefits their bottom-line, improving productivity and staff retention. With one in four people experiencing mental illness it's time for businesses to work on their approach and start creating more mentally healthy workplaces."

Time to Change is England's biggest anti-stigma programme led by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness and funded by the Department of Health and Comic Relief. Set up to create a positive shift in public attitudes towards mental health problems, Time to Change promotes better understanding to combat discrimination towards people who experience mental health problems.

Notes to editors

Legal & General joins the wide movement of organisations that have signed up to the Time to Change pledge, including the FA, the Premier League, BT, E.ON, British Gas, Ernst & Young, Transport for London, Citizen's Advice, Accenture, Shell, Pepsico, The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Church of England, Channel 4, Lloyds, and many NHS trusts, universities, and local authorities.

About Legal & General's Group Income Protection:-

Group Income Protection aims to provide insurance to pay income protection benefit to employees who cannot work because of long-term illness or injury. When appropriate, we'll provide early intervention and rehabilitation for employees who are absent from work because of long-term illness or injury. Benefit will only be paid if the employee meets our specific definition of long-term illness or injury. Our technical guide gives details of the benefits and when we will and won't pay a claim.

About Time to Change:-

Time to Change is England's most ambitious programme to end the stigma and discrimination faced by people with mental health problems.  The programme is run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, and funded by the Department of Health and Comic Relief.

For more information go to www.time-to-change.org.uk

About the Department of Health:-

On 2 February 2011 the Department of Health launched No health without mental health, a cross-government mental health outcomes strategy for people of all ages which has the twin aims of keeping people well and improving their mental health and, when people are not well, improving their outcomes through high-quality services.

The strategy is based on six shared objectives, developed with partners from across the mental health sector, and focuses on 'Recovery' and the reduction of stigma and discrimination as overarching themes.

To help deliver the objective to reduce the stigma faced by people with mental health problems, in 2011 the Department agreed to support Time to Change, the anti-stigma campaign run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. The Department of Health is providing the campaign with up to £16 million of funding together with a further £4 million from Comic Relief. This funding will help Time to Change continue their work until March 2015.

About Comic Relief:-

Comic Relief is committed to supporting people living with mental health problems. The projects Comic Relief funds ensure people with mental health problems get their voices heard in the decisions that affect their lives and get the help they need to recover. Comic Relief also helps people to promote their rights and reduce the stigma and discrimination they face so that they feel more included in society.  The 

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