Peace of mind

Mental health problems affect one in six workers nationally every year. By taking a positive approach to mental wellbeing, we’re hoping to show that a healthier workforce means a healthier, more sustainable business – as Health and Wellbeing Manager Andy Buxton explains.

The mental wellbeing of our people is an issue we take really seriously. It’s also a matter of national concern, with 77% of employees in the UK having experienced poor mental health in their lives and 62% saying work was a contributing factor. We’re determined to make a difference. That’s why we introduced our mental wellbeing strategy. We want to make sure all our people get the training, help and resources they need to improve their mental wellbeing at work.

Opening up

One of the main features of the strategy is our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). Employees can call a dedicated number at any time to get free and confidential support. Trained experts listen to their problems, provide emotional support and guide them towards the right type of counselling. Training is important too. We provide a range of courses, including mental health ‘first aid’. This helps employees improve their understanding of mental health issues and how to manage them. We also teach our managers and leaders how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental health problems early on. We want them to provide people with the right support from the start, before a small problem gets worse.

National role

We’ve thrown our weight behind the issue nationally by signing the Time to Change Employer Pledge. This shows our people, customers and public that we’re committed to changing how we think and act about mental health at work.

We also take part in the Time to Change – Time to Talk campaign, which encourages people across the UK to talk openly about mental health in a bid to address the stigma and discrimination that surrounds it.

Making a difference

By taking a positive approach to mental health, we do more than just help our people. We believe we make our business more resilient too.

Our strategy helps us attract the best talent. Our employees become more engaged and motivated. We retain more of our valuable people. And we aim to minimise absences caused by mental health difficulties, while enhancing our reputation as a caring employer.

Published: June 2017