SHROPSHIRE Chamber of Commerce has launched a new Mental Health Charter to recognise employers who are going the extra mile to look after the welfare of their staff.

The move comes as people look to either long term working from home or returning to the office or factory.

It is part of the Chamber’s campaign to keep the mental health debate at the very top of the agenda as companies tentatively emerge from lockdown.

Every company which signs up to the free charter receives a certificate of recognition. In return, all they have to do is pledge to adopt three key principles.

These are engaging with mental health issues, reducing the stigma around it in the workplace and identifying sources of support.

Among the first to sign up are the county’s two local authorities, Shropshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council.

“After a particularly difficult year, it’s no surprise that mental health is high on everyone’s agenda,” said Andy Begley, chief executive of Shropshire Council.

“As a council we have always promoted open conversations around mental health, and have lots of support in place to help people when they need it, including a newly-appointed wellbeing officer.

“However, we can and should do more. This is why I was eager to sign Shropshire Chamber of Commerce’s new Mental Health Charter.”

To follow in their footsteps and sign up to the charter, companies simply have to go to

Richard Sheehan, Shropshire Chamber of Commerce’s chief executive, says that looking after mental health will be a key issue as people move to a more normal way of working including face to face meetings.

“Some people have had virtually all social contact removed during lockdown, and may be filled with trepidation at the thought of going back into the office, or nervous about jumping into the world of networking again,” said Mr Sheehan.

“Shropshire Chamber’s cross-sector connectivity allows us to play a serious and constructive part in this debate and we’re determined to keep mental health right at the top of the agenda.

“We would urge every single employer in the county to sign up to this charter to help achieve these goals.”

The charter has been developed in conjunction with Merulae, the bespoke training and counselling services, based in Shrewsbury.