Last year, 11 of Good Energy’s employees headed off to take a mental health first aid training course. When they came back, they decided that they wanted to do more to tackle mental health stigma in their workplace.
Since then, a core team of 11 mental health first aiders have overseen a variety of actions to promote mental health awareness in the company. Good Energy signed up to the Time To Change Pledge in May this year and they hope to further encourage a supportive mental health workplace culture in the coming months and years.
Mental Health First Aiders leading the way
Key to Good Energy’s success is the strong and enthusiastic team of mental health first aiders who meet up monthly and really work to drive progress. They've had the support of senior management from the start and there isn’t much to hold them back. The CEO of the company signed the Time To Change pledge. Commitment from management is vital in any organisation that wishes to improve the position of mental health.
From the beginning, one of the most important goals for the Mental Health First Aiders has been making sure that employees are aware of the services that Good Energy provides that they can use to help them with their mental health. This includes free counselling but also discounted gym memberships and access to the mindfulness app ‘Headspace’. The mental health first aiders also wanted to make sure that everyone knew who they were and so they put their pictures and contact details up around the office. It is important that employees are aware of the people and resources that are available to support them.
Organising activities based around the mental health calendar
In order to increase mental health awareness, the team organised multiple events to coincide with Time To Talk Day including a breakfast talk session, badge making and a company walk. Building on this, Good Energy has got a programme planned for the rest of the year based around the mental health calendar. There will be events for World Mental Health Day, World Suicide Prevention Day and Anti-Bullying Week among many others.
Good Energy have created a space on their intranet specifically for sharing experiences of mental health as well as advice and tips. It’s called ‘Be Good About Mental Health.’ This space has been important in starting conversations about mental health and employees have been really receptive.
Breaking down barriers
The positive, supportive atmosphere which can be found at Good Energy is a testament to the excellent work of the mental health first aiders and the open company culture. People have felt empowered to share their stories and the team of mental health first aiders are proud of the fact that people can be more expressive and honest about mental health. Good Energy are still working on breaking down the barriers surrounding mental health but they’ve made a great start in raising awareness and forging an open, safe company culture.