Lucy Lorraine, process and change lead and co-chair dbEnable UK & Ireland explains. We decided to work collectively with our peers and other organisations to help shift culture and share best practice and ideas for change, and proactively address issues and challenges.
Yves Dermaux, Global Head of Trading & Product Development in Asset Management, became our front-line CMHA representative. Senior engagement is critical, so bringing together senior representatives from the different organisations is a great way to get senior support back in the workplace. CMHA membership is in itself valuable, because it demonstrates our commitment to sustaining the good mental health of our employees.
We’ve had a number of services in place for many years. These include a strong EAP helpline, a BUPA helpline, an Aged Care helpline, GP services and occupational health services, as well as an Employee Resource Network, dbEnable. We also run resilience training.
We launched a number of new initiatives in 2016, including Professional Wellbeing for Managers and for Colleagues. The objective is to help managers spot warning signs of mental ill health in themselves and others, and equip them to have the right conversations. There is a great appetite: both courses ‘sold out’ within a few hours. We have also trained 16 people in our Birmingham office in Mental Health First Aid and plan to train a further 30 people in London early next year. Our aim is to have one Mental Health First Aider for every 250 employees.
We have repositioned dbEnable as a ‘disability, mental health and wellbeing network’. We used to describe it as a ‘disability network’, but people didn’t always associate it with mental health. It is co-sponsored by Yves and Paul Anderson, a Managing Director and Site Head of Birmingham, and, because it is run by employees, has given real traction to our mental health initiatives.
To celebrate World Mental Health Day in 2015 Alastair Campbell [Mind Ambassador and former Director of Communications and Strategy in the Blair government], spoke to over 400 of our UK-based colleagues about his own experience of depression. At the event we told people we wanted to create stories to share to coincide with the launch of our This is Me campaign in May 2016, and seven individuals came forward immediately. We launch two videos bi-monthly and employees are still coming forward to take part.
The initial response to This is Me was overwhelming. Within weeks of launch we had thousands of views and hundreds of comments from both colleagues and senior management offering support and encouragement to those who had shared their stories. That demonstrated the impact mental health has on our people, whether directly or through family members, friends or other colleagues. Although this is a UK initiative we featured it on our global intranet pages. The topic is globally relevant and resonates everywhere. We have since had interest from colleagues in New York and Australia about launching the campaign in their offices.
I am very keen to dig deeper around our mental health analytics. The more information we have, the better we can target our mental health initiatives in order to create real change. This year we piloted the Britain’s Healthiest Workplace survey among HR colleagues. I also want us to participate in Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index; and we are preparing to complete the Business Disability Forum self-assessment. Deutsche Bank’s health provider gives us a health report showing how much we spend on prevention and treatment – providing a compelling business case. In common with many organisations, I’m sure there is more to be done in this space.