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Martin Baker, Associate IT Service Manager at BPDTS.

Martin Baker

Associate IT Service Manager, BPDTS

Martin is an Associate IT Service Manager based in Newcastle, where he leads a team supporting core applications. Martin is the joint lead for the Mental Health and Wellbeing Community within the Naturally Inclusive and Wellbeing Group, and Pledge Lead for the Time to Change Employer Pledge Scheme which BPDTS signed in May 2019.

Martin knew little about mental illness until a chance online encounter in 2011 with American writer Fran Houston who lives with bipolar disorder. Despite being 3,000 miles apart, Martin soon became – and remains – Fran’s primary support and caregiver. Together, Martin and Fran blog about mental health and supportive relationships; they co-authored the book, High Tide, Low Tide: The Caring Friend's Guide to Bipolar Disorder, to inspire others. Martin is also an ASIST-trained Mental Health First Aider, and a volunteer for the anti-stigma campaign, Time to Change.

"The opportunity to bring this experience into the workplace is immensely rewarding. The work we are doing can be challenging, but as they say, the good stuff starts just outside your comfort zone! I am immensely proud to work for a company committed to fostering a culture where we can all feel safe, supported, valued, and heard."

Why you need to talk more about mental health

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Loveday, Martin & Louis with the Time to Change Pledge

Leading organisations across all sectors are putting mental health and wellness issues on the boardroom agenda. Mental health issues cost UK employers £45 billion, and more needs to be done to tackle the challenge in the workplace. The more conversations we have about mental health the more barriers we can break down – minimising the isolation, shame, and worthlessness too many of us feel when experiencing a mental health problem.