DVLA Mental Health Support Group (#Hope/Gobaith)

DVLA D&I 2019

DVLA’s Mental Health Support Group - Championing Disability Inclusion Award.
Staff at DVLA have noticed that the profile of Mental Health has been raised at agency over the past few years. There is a reason for that, and it isn’t just that we are interested in reducing sick absences.
I am nominating the group for this award because they are a team of dedicated volunteers from many departments and of many grades, most facing their own challenges, who have come together to challenge stigma and support colleagues and managers in the field of mental health. They are an exceptional group of people who collaborate closely, without ego, to ensure that DVLA becomes a great place to work in line with our vision of “Simpler, Better, Safer” and drawing on the findings of the Government’s Thriving at Work report https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/thriving-at-work-a-review-of-...
Feedback to the group from other staff members has included:
‘I thought I was alone. I now feel that I should talk openly with my family, doctor and manager.’
‘This is the first time I’ve felt able to be open and honest about my condition outside of my family.’ 
The Time to Change Wales statistics from their State of Stigma event show that a similar, all Wales, stigma busting campaign resulted in a 4.7% drop in the number of people with a discriminatory attitude to those with mental health problems. But the figures surrounding mental health (http://www.timetochangewales.org.uk/en/mental-health-stigma/stigma-stati... ) show that there is still a long way to go and that teams like the DVLA’s Mental Health Support Group are vital in destroying this stigma. Open conversations about our mental health are the first step in improving our wellbeing, and having individuals who are willing to make the first move is vital to getting those conversations going.