A year ago, Nick Stace signed the Time to Change pledge on behalf of The Prince’s Trust, illustrating our commitment to change the way we think and act about mental health and to make sure that colleagues and young people who are facing mental health issues have the support they need.

This World Mental Health Day, our Mental Health Advisor Yannis Munro shares an update on how we're progressing. 

Why we focus on mental health

While we are not a specialist mental health charity, we owe it to the young people we work with to give them the opportunity to talk about mental health and how it affects them, and to provide access to the support they need to build resilience, flourish, and reach their full potential.

Just as mental wellbeing is integral to young people achieving their potential in employment, education or training, it is also a vital contributor to our own job (and life) satisfaction, productivity, and our ability to achieve our personal and professional goals.

Our mental health mission is to encourage the positive mental health of both colleagues at The Trust and the young people who access our programmes, and our mental health plan, which feeds into every aspect of our work, explores how we will achieve this.

So, what have we done lately?

Our Mental Health Advisory Group (MHAG) has been working closely with mental health organisations like YoungMinds, Time to Change and Mind, and with the support of patrons like the Berkeley Foundation, the Rangoonwalla Foundation and the Royal Mail Group we’re making sure make sure we have the skills, knowledge and resources to have the right mental health conversations, at the right time, with both young people and each other.

Mental health literacy on the Team programme

In partnership with specialist youth mental health charity YoungMinds, we’ve created a Mental Health Literacy programme with the support of the Rangoonwalla Foundation that will help our Team delivery colleagues to recognise mental health difficulties in young people, know when and how to refer them to specialist support, and reduce stigma and discrimination around mental health issues.

We have now rolled out the programme to the majority of Team colleagues, and by January 2019 we expect to have embedded it across all of our all Team programmes, with a view to incorporating what we’ve learned into programme delivery across the organisation in the new year.

Royal Mail and Berkeley Foundation

The Royal Mail Group has been a key supporter of our mental health strategy, funding the strategy itself and a pilot programme in Northern Ireland, where we have a Wellbeing Executive in post to provide mental health support to both young people and colleagues.

Similarly, our partnership with the Berkeley foundation has funded a two-year pilot in Tower Hamlets, Southwark and Lambeth, where we’re working with mental health charity, Mind, to provide young people on our programmes one-to-one and group sessions around mental health, resilience and wellbeing.