A group-wide project was launched last year to help everyone feel more able to talk openly about mental health in the workplace and ensure that our people understand how to access help if they need it.
The health and safety of our people and communities is at the heart of everything we do, with mental wellbeing regarded as being as important as physical safety. A group-wide project was launched last year to help everyone feel more able to talk openly about mental health in the workplace and ensure that our people understand how to access help if they need it.
In 2019, the importance of mental health and wellbeing was firmly placed at the top of the NDA group employee agenda and given special project status and group-wide focus. With the ambition of embedding a strong mental health culture, a delivery group was formed to set strategic direction and share good practice and resources. The project group has since committed to standardising our Employee Assistance Programme, collaborated on national awareness campaigns and developed a consistent way to measure success in this area. Each business has also committed to meet the standards set out in the Thriving at Work report (ref 51) and progress is reported at quarterly performance reviews.
Strong leadership is a key factor in ensuring that mental health is embedded in our culture and executive leadership is represented in each of our businesses. Mental health first aiders have been put in place by most businesses in the group, with 14 trained individuals in the NDA. Their role is to signpost people to support and encourage them to speak up about mental health and seek help if they need it. We have also enlisted the guidance and support of charities like Mind and Samaritans, with people across the group fundraising to support their important work.
Early signs are showing that the focus on mental health is starting to pay off. A recent survey carried out across the NDA group showed a 30% increase in people who responded and agreed that mental health is openly discussed in the workplace, compared to 2 years ago. The survey also showed that 91% of respondents know how to access support if they need it. Marking the success of the project so far was a major highlight of our first ever NDA group Safety and Wellbeing Awards in 2019.