In order to provide complete functionality, this web site needs your explicit consent to store browser cookies. If you don't allow cookies, you may not be able to use certain features of the web site including but not limited to: log in, buy products, see personalized content, switch between site cultures. It is recommended that you allow all cookies.
Want to stay on the right side of the law? We support businesses and public authorities and help them to promote good practice.

Mental Health Charter

What you need to know



Mental Health Charter

Mental Health CharterWe have a launched a new Mental Health Charter for employers and service providers. The Charter, jointly produced by the Equality Commission, Action Mental Health, Disability Action, Mindwise, Mental Health Foundation and Niamh, provides a framework for working towards mentally healthy workplaces.

Those who sign up to the Charter will undertake to promote good mental health which will be beneficial to their business/organisation, employees and the whole community in Northern Ireland.

We can provide signees with free information and training resources to help them meet their charter commitments.

Charter Commitments
By signing up to Mental Health Charter you will be working towards putting 5 Charter Commitments in place. The Mental Health Charter is not a set of quality standards or an accreditation but is a voluntary commitment to developing best practice in the workplace.

1. Create an open and inclusive workplace culture which displays respect for those with mental ill health

Action points:

We will seek to provide a mentally healthy workplace by:

  • Recognising the business case for making mental health a boardroom priority.
  • Positively engaging those with mental ill health and their representatives in the development and review of all relevant employment policies.
  • Providing appropriate information about the prevalence of mental ill health in Northern Ireland, how this impacts on the workplace and the benefits of creating a mentally healthy, resilient workplace.
  • Monitoring key employment policies to ensure those with mental ill health enjoy equality of opportunity both in accessing and remaining in employment.

We will challenge mental ill health stigma in the workplace by:

  • Signing up to workplace campaigns and the regional Change Your Mind campaign which aims to start positive conversations around mental health and break the silence of stigma.
  • Providing mental health training such as the Mental Health First Aid training to appropriate staff.
  • Supporting managers, staff and volunteers through proactive coaching, training and advice to be confident in engaging with staff experiencing mental ill health.
  • Encouraging line managers to take a proactive interest in the wellbeing of staff and to recognise when there is a need for external support such as counselling.

2. To promote equality of opportunity and challenge discrimination in the workplace

We will ensure our policies and procedures promote equality of opportunity for people with mental ill health by;

  • Auditing employment policies, practices and procedures to ensure they comply with equality legislation.
  • Adopting employment policies, practices and procedures that seek to promote good practice.
  • Creating and implementing procedures that seek to allow staff to perform their job successfully following disclosure of mental ill health.
  • Providing proforma reasonable adjustment plans, with information about where to access internal and external support, including from local mental health organisations.

We will ensure that line managers have the appropriate support in managing people with mental ill health by;

  • Providing training and information to line managers about how the reasonable adjustment duty applies to people with mental ill health.
  • Considering coaching for managers to allow them to manage employees with mental ill health in a positive way.

3. To promote equality of opportunity in recruitment and selection for those with mental ill health

We will encourage those with mental ill health to apply for employment with us by:

  • Positively engaging those with mental ill health and their representatives to identify and address barriers to employment.
  • Considering the use of positive action measures where appropriate, including the use of a welcoming statement and reserving posts for disabled people.

We will implement reasonable adjustment measures to recruitment & selection processes and procedures by:

  • Auditing our recruitment and selection policies in respect of our duty to make reasonable adjustments.
  • Providing training on the reasonable adjustment duty to all employees involved in recruitment and selection.
  • Adopting the Equality Commission’s guidance on the monitoring of disability.
  • Accessing government and other support programmes designed to assist disabled people in accessing work.

Where appropriate we will introduce positive action measures such as:

  • Use of a welcoming statement.
  • Targeted recruitment.
  • Ringfencing posts for disabled people including those with mental ill health.

4. To identify and provide sources of information and support regarding mental ill health

We will provide sources of information and support by:


  • Availing of resources offered by relevant support organisations.
  • Availing of resources offered by specialist bodies including the Equality Commission and Disability Employment Service.
  • Engaging directly with relevant applicants, employees and services users affected by mental ill health.

5. To adopt 'Every Customer Counts - promoting accessible services' recommendations

We will seek to promote equality of opportunity in terms of how we provide goods and services to disabled customers, including those with mental ill health by:

  • Adopting the Equality Commission’s template Every Customer Customer Services Policy (pdf).
  • Providing training to all front-facing staff on disability etiquette and relevant legislation dealing with disability and the provision of goods and services. This training will give focus to customers with mental ill health.
  • Monitoring and evaluating the customer experience of disabled people, including those with mental ill health.


> Charter Commitment Statement

Commitment statement

"We recognise that many people experience mental ill health during their lives and that, with the right help at the right time, they can recover.

We believe that everyone in the workplace has a responsibility to create an environment that promotes wellbeing and to look after their mental health.

We positively engage in agreeing reasonable adjustments with our applicants, employees and service users.

As an employer and service provider, we will work to create a workplace culture that promotes equality of opportunity and respect for those with mental ill health and provide a positive service to people with mental ill health.  

We note that those with mental ill health suffer particular disadvantages in the workplace and in accessing goods and services. Therefore this Charter focuses on the area of mental ill health. However, we recognise that many of the Charter commitments relate equally to those with other disabilities including physical, sensory, learning and hidden disabilities."


Commitment Registration Form


Sign up to the Mental Health Charter using the form below:

 Security code






Equal opportunities
< Employers and service providers


Action Mental Health Equality Commission NI Mental Health Foundation

Inspire wellbeing for all Change Your Mind Disability Action Mind Wise


Mental Health Charter Signees

Signees to the Mental Health Charter include:

Action Mental Health
Allen & Overy
Allstate NI
Aisling Daycare & Afterschool
Aware NI
Baker McKenzie
Belfast City Council
Belfast Health & Social Care Trust
Business in the Community
Clanmill Housing Association
Colin Community Counselling
Convergys Intelligent Contact Ltd
Core M&E Services Ltd
Disability Action
Educational Shakespeare Company
Integrated Services Design Ltd

Irish Football Association
James Leckey Design Ltd
Kainos Software plc
Lagan Construction Group
Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council
Lowry Construction Ltd
McCloskey International Ltd
Mental Health Foundation
Northern Regional College
North West Regional College
NI Assembly
NIE Networks Ltd

NI Union of Supported Employment
Page Setup
Rational Resilience
Out There Services
Tascomi Ltd
The Mac
Think Ahead Training
TH Jordan Ltd
Triangle Housing
South Eastern Regional College (SERC)
Smarts Communicate
Smiley Munroe
South West College
Women's Tec

 See our photo gallery of some of the companies and organisations who have signed up to the Charter.

Managing and supporting employees with mental ill health

Ruth McVeigh, HR Manager for Allen & Overy in Belfast, explains how they take a proactive and positive approach to supporting staff with mental ill health. This includes staff training, signing up to the Mental Health Charter and working closely with organisations, including the Equality Commission and Action Mental Health on a number of mental ill health initiatives.

Una Wilson from the Equality Commission explains the key aspects of the Mental Health Charter and the support that is available to businesses in Northern Ireland.


Print All