To coincide with GroceryAid Awareness day we are PROUD to announce that Mental Health awareness and support will sit alongside this year’s company-wide initiative to become Carbon Neutral by 2025.
Julian Cordy, Field Sales Solution Group CEO, explains why he recognised the importance of putting Mental Health at the top of the company’s agenda.
As I mentioned in my recent blog on our vision to be Carbon Neutral in 5 years, our second key initiative for 2020 is how we deal with mental health in the workplace. Throughout 2019 there was a lot of coverage around mental health issues from members of the Royal Family and the great 'Heads Up' campaign in the football community which is being led by Prince William.
This coverage led me to think about times in my life when I had close friends and family members, as well as colleagues in the workplace, who have had issues with mental health. Perhaps more importantly, it made me think of all the times that I had not recognised that people were struggling.
Many years ago, the home phone started ringing at about 4 in the morning; you know that feeling of dread when this happens. It was my best friend’s wife saying that she “couldn’t find her son’s school socks” and “did I have them on my car roof.” It seems almost comical, but I was so worried I got dressed and drove round to the house; where my best friend then told me that she had been suffering with anxiety and stress and her behaviour had started to become erratic. This was a complete shock to me; it had been so well hidden as they were embarrassed about talking to anyone. Fortunately, after many cups of tea and conversations we managed to reach out and get the medical and psychological support that was needed. After a course of treatment and training in effective coping mechanisms a full recovery took place.
Every year one in four people will experience a mental health problem. Based on this statistic from Mind UK it is likely that at least one quarter of my colleagues will need, or know somebody who needs, help or support. This could be anything from depression, work related stress, anxiety, bereavement, or panic attacks to name but a few, or as a result of personal challenges or issues outside or within the workplace.
In order to support both our head office and field staff we have now put in place a range of support mechanisms. Firstly, we are delighted to work alongside Grocery Aid; a nationwide industry charity which provides invaluable support services, including a 24-hour helpline which is now available to all our employees.
Today, in aid of GroceryAid Awareness Day (3rd March 2020), we are running a series of events within our head office to highlight the importance of employee well-being; this includes hosting 'well-being workshops', taking some time out to walk together, enjoying a company picnic and providing training on ‘self-care' in the workplace.
We also now have a team of four fully trained Mental Health “First Aiders” who can provide a confidential 'first port of call' for anyone who is feeling in need of help. Plus we are also extremely proud to be working with two local well-being counsellors, who are available to our head office team to use, at our cost, for ongoing support and recovery.
Our nominated charity for this year is Mind UK and we will be running a number of fundraising and social events in order to raise money and awareness for this worthwhile cause.
As a people business we recognise that it is essential to promote a company culture where mental health is not stigmatised or frowned upon. We are therefore committed to providing a framework of support, where we can invest in, and learn to support each other, and where every individuals well-being is a top priority.
Our vision ‘be PROUD’ underpins this goal and I looking forward to a positive 2020, as we work together on this journey.
Remember….it’s good to talk.