Well at work: How we support and promote mental health awareness

Posted 13/05/2019 by E.ON

Although it is undoubtedly getting easier to talk about mental health at work, for a lot of people it remains a difficult topic to discuss. But we know the more we talk about it, the more likely it is that we'll lead healthy and happy lives. It's why we continue to focus on breaking down the barriers for colleagues and helping each other to recognise the signs of mental health challenges early on, as well as providing the necessary support.

Earlier this year one of our health and safety advisers, Darea Flanagan, ran sessions on wellbeing and resilience for 150 of our new apprentices. We wanted to ensure at such an early stage in their careers our apprentices had this crucial information to call on should they ever need it.

But it's not only our apprentices learning about mental health awareness. In addition to his day job as a systems support manager, Neil de Souza volunteers to run four mindfulness sessions a week for colleagues throughout the company, as well as a taster course to introduce people to the practice.

Neil first became interested in mindfulness during his long recovery from a cycling accident. He knew he needed to support his mental resilience and wellbeing and began meditating with the help of an app on his phone. As he shared his experiences, his colleagues took note and turned to him for more information.

Neil isn't the only colleague to share his personal experience of boosting and managing his own wellbeing. Gas technical analyst Sarah Glaze set up a wellbeing choir last year, which now has 15 regular members, including one of our board members. Sarah was part of a choir outside work and finds singing uplifting, a benefit she wanted to share with colleagues. She decided to start our choir as part of our Wellbeing Wednesday initiative, through which wellbeing is promoted across the business during the last Wednesday of each month.

The group now meets every Friday during their lunch break and is led by another colleague who is a part-time professional musician and vocal coach. The singers report that they leave smiling and looking forward to the weekend.

Our efforts to support our colleagues' mental health have been recognised by the charity Mind in their Workplace Wellbeing Index. We're proud to have received the Gold Award, given to employers who have successfully embedded mental health into their policies and practices and who have demonstrated a long-term and in-depth commitment to colleagues' mental health. What's more, it's a step up from the Silver Award that Mind presented to us for 2017/18.


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