The success of workplace mental health and wellbeing champions in providing support to colleagues has been highlighted by one of Cumbria’s leading building societies.
The Cumberland is supporting Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs until May 16, and says the issue has been a particular focus as part of its drive to become one of the UK’s best places to work.
It has introduced mental health and wellbeing champions. Since 2018, volunteer workers have been trained by Carlisle MIND and supported by a programme from the Mental Health Foundation.
Becky Towns is one of the champions.
She said: “The key message is embedding mental health as part of the everyday.
“This is particularly important as we appreciate that people’s mental health and wellbeing can be affected in many ways.
“Things happen all the time in our lives, in and out of work, that can impact us on a personal and professional level.
“So, we want people to feel safe and comfortable knowing they can reach out if and when they need to.”
Among the measures The Cumberland has introduced are increasing the number of champions, a 24/7 employee assistance programme, online help in the form of a central support hub with resources from information sheets to interactive documents and signposting to webinars and additional occupational health support.
There is also a monthly newsletter.
The message is that people should feel able to speak to someone in confidence if they need to, with the mental health champions one of the first ports of call.
Becky added: “Our ultimate goal is to normalise conversations, help break down barriers and stigmas so people know they can reach out to get support whenever they need it.”
Jill Johnston, chief people officer at The Cumberland, said: “Our people are the heart of our organisation. We want everyone to enjoy coming to work and to feel happy, safe and valued.
“We know that colleagues who feel this way will produce their very best work, and this underpins the exceptional customer service we aim to provide every day.”
You can find out more about mental health by visiting mind.org.uk or by contacting your local MIND office.