Making Mental Health Matter in MHAW
This year’s #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek has been an action-packed one here at Commercial. We have used this important annual focus to highlight all the good practices we’ve put in place, and to remind people that they can talk about their mental health without fear of stigma. And not just during MHAW, but all year round.
I’m delighted at the response we’ve had: many have taken the time to email to say how much they’ve enjoyed the daily communication, and that they feel supported in terms of their mental wellbeing.
We believe that the mental health of our teams is integral to how they feel about their jobs, how they perform in their role, and how they interact with colleagues and customers. We have developed, and are implementing, a mental health action plan which aims to:
• Improve mental health awareness across the Group
• Tackle any causes of work-related mental health issues
• Create a workplace culture where staff feel about to talk about their mental health
• Support staff who are experiencing mental health issues
We have trained our management team to identify causes of mental health issues and stress, to spot the signs of the common types of mental health issues, and to know how to support people. Their role as managers is vital, and they will also be involved in training all our teams to understand what a mental health issue is, where they can access support, how to support their colleagues and, of course, what our Group policy is.
As well as managers who are trained mental health first aiders in each location, we will have others in the business who are not managers, as we recognise that people do not always want to talk to a manager about their mental health.
Our overall message is that we are trying to break the stigma around mental health, and we have re-launched our employee counselling service with the message that ‘It’s ok not to be ok’. A lot of organisations, including ourselves, have plenty of wellbeing initiatives around physical health, and we recognise that mental health is just as important. This is a key part of our employee wellbeing strategy.
We hope that all our teams feel supported and able to talk openly about their mental health. Mental health is high up the agenda, socially and politically, and we know that communication is key to breaking the stigma – witness the Royal Family talking on television about it, all of which encourages people to feel more comfortable. #It’s ok not to be ok.
"We have used #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek to remind people that they can talk about their mental health without fear of stigma. And not just during MHAW, but all year round"
Head of HR, Commercial