Stories of our impact
Keeping mental health in mind
Making sure our people can get support whenever they need it
“Are you okay?” A simple question that can make a huge difference. In May, during Mental Health Awareness Week, we launched a campaign that encourages our people to look out for each other with those three little words.
“Our analysis indicates the potential impact poor mental health has on UK businesses and the wider economy. It should spur employers into recognising that championing mental health and supporting employees makes good business sense and that inaction comes at a demonstrable cost.”
Reach out, speak out
Asking for help can be the biggest step for anyone suffering with mental health issues, which is why we’re making it easier for people to get support, if and when they need it.
Our “Are you okay?” initiative is giving them the confidence to speak openly about mental health. It provides colleagues with the information they need to spot the signs that someone is struggling and start a safe conversation. It also highlights the range of help available.
The work complements our ongoing “This is me” campaign that features videos of our people sharing their own experiences and stories of recovery.
Tackling the taboo
In the UK, thanks largely to organisations like Heads Together, Mind and the City Mental Health Alliance, we’re breaking down the stigma; people are less ashamed, less embarrassed and feel better about asking for help. But there’s always more that can be done.
This year, we supported the government’s independent review into mental health in the workplace, commissioned by Prime Minister Theresa May. The aim was to understand how employers can help staff remain in work and flourish.
We were asked to calculate the cost of poor mental health to employers, determine the return on investment (ROI) from workplace interventions and outline what we can learn from international best practice. We shared our findings in October, the same month the government published its report, Thriving at Work: the Stevenson/Farmer review of mental health and employers.
It’s okay to ask…
Do you know someone who hasn’t been their usual self? Do they seem down, a little agitated or emotional? Maybe you can't put your finger on it, but you sense something’s wrong? Don't ignore it, trust your instincts and ask if they're okay. By reaching out and starting a conversation you could help someone get the support they need.
Who will you ask?
Setting standards for support
The study draws on accounts from more than 200 businesses, plus experts in the field, and sets out a number of standards – both core and advanced – that companies can adopt. They cover mental health at work plans, increasing awareness among employees, defining management responsibilities and routine monitoring of staff wellbeing.
The principles have helped us refine our own approach and, in 2018, we achieved a silver award in Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index for the second year running, improving on our scores for 2017.
Targeted actions have included joining forces with Mental Health First Aid England to design a four-hour workshop for partners and directors. We wanted our most senior people to have the skills and confidence to spot the signs and be able to offer support. In FY18, we trained more than 530 leaders and are now looking to extend the workshop more widely across the firm.