The local mental health trust hosted the event, as part of LGBT History Month, with support from the LGBT Foundation and a performance by Made by Mortals – a not-for-profit social enterprise that delivers multimedia performance projects with professional and participatory artists from a range of social and cultural backgrounds.
GMMH’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy is built around the four goals stipulated by the The Equality Delivery System for the NHS (EDS2),which looks at service user health outcomes, experience and access to services, as well as how representative and supported a trust’s workforce is and inclusive leadership.
Neil Thwaite, Chief Executive of GMMH, said: “We are proud to launch our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, which is an important step forward for GMMH in our cultural and organisational development. There is great energy and commitment across the organisation to delivering the five priorities identified from our consultation with staff, service users, carers and stakeholders.
Mr Thwaite added: “Our priorities set out our approach to ensuring our services are accessible to all, our workforce is reflective of the diverse communities we serve and equality is central to everything we do. We believe that the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion are critical to us delivering high-quality services and employment for all.”
The Trust is already doing a lot of positive work to address key inclusion issues; from LGBTQIA and BAME staff networks, research studies to produce learning resources for ethnic minority communities, teams to tackle homelessness in Manchester and the introduction of a staff Inclusivity Network, which focusses on leadership and development opportunities.
They have pledged to support the armed forces community and are a bronze award holder of the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme and are part of the Disability Confident employer scheme, a member of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme, and a Living Wage Employer.
GMMH’s Recovery Academy is the Trust’s inclusive learning programme providing courses run by and for those with lived experience of mental health and alcohol and drug problems.
The Academy is committed to providing equality of opportunity for every student and empowers people with mental health problems to become experts in their own recovery. Courses range from Deaf Awareness Training, British Sign Language Training, a How Culture Affects Mental Health course, an Understanding Specific Learning Difficulties course, a Faith and Recovery course and a variety of ‘Living with…’ courses.
The Strategy has been developed by GMMH’s Equality and Diversity Committee, made up of staff representatives from across the Trust, senior managers, staff side representatives and the Trust’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff network.