by Richard Buckley, Editor, Business Eye

The Hyster-Yale Plant at Craigavon has become the latest industrial site to sign up to the Mental Health Charter at an event attended by Equality Commissioner Geraldine McGahey.   The Mental Health Charter is an initiative organised by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland with its partners Action Mental Health, Change Your Mind, Disability Action, the Mental Health Foundation.

There are currently 82 employers across Northern Ireland who have signed up to the Charter.


Jim Downey, Plant Manager, Hyster-Yale said: “At Hyster-Yale Craigavon we are committed to providing ongoing support for the health and well-being of everyone who works for us. A key part of that support focuses on mental health issues, and we have decided to put this often difficult issue at the centre of our HR Occupational Health Strategy.


“We have introduced a number of mental health initiatives to our workforce, including independent counselling support for employees and briefing sessions to raise awareness of mental health issues. We have already seen benefits from this work and we are committed to developing it further where possible.”


“We hope to build a culture which assures all our employees with mental health issues that they will treated with dignity and respect. Our objective is that everyone should feel confident about discussing issues around mental health freely and feel able to seek help without fear or stigma,” concluded Mr Downey.


Speaking at the signing of the Charter, Commissioner Geraldine McGahey commented: “The Mental Health Charter is not an accreditation or an award, but an important voluntary commitment by employers in Northern Ireland to ensure their workplaces are supportive of each of their employees who might find themselves having to deal with mental ill health.”


“The Commission welcomes Hyster-Yale Craigavon’s commitment today and we pay tribute to the work they have done with other organisations, including the Engineering Employers Federation and Unite the Union, to build a solid foundation for their mental-health strategy. They are without doubt an example of best practice in this field and we hope to see other organisations follow their lead.”

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Harry Sands (Managing Director), Jim Downey (Plant Manager), Commissioner Geraldine McGahey (Equality Commission for Northern Ireland), Alan Little (VP Manufacturing & Logistics)


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