Haymarket Media Group’s Employee Engagement Survey showed that 12% of Haymarket employees consider themselves to have a mental health disability, meanwhile 25% of sick days taken in the last 12 months cited mental health reasons.
Whilst this is not dissimilar to other organisations, Haymarket took the decision to increase the mental health support of its employees. The mission was to raise awareness of the support available both for line managers and employees and to get people talking about mental health.
The Haymarket Mental Health Initiative
During National Work/Life Week, Haymarket’s new mental health initiative was launched. This new initiative was backed by the Executive Leadership Team and supported by Haymarket’s diversity and inclusion steering group.
Four mental health champions were recruited from across the business to join Haymarket’s team of mental health first aiders in order to promote positive mental health and wellbeing and to signpost employees to the support available.
To increase awareness of the new initiative, Haymarket hosted a number of events throughout the week including a Q&A session with Emma Mamo, head of workplace wellbeing at Mind and Management Today’s Kate Bassett, which was well attended and posed interesting discussions around mental health in the workplace. We also welcomed Juno from Therapy Dogs Nationwide for a lunchtime mindfulness walk.
On World Mental Health Day there was a Tea and Talk with Haymarket’s Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) provider, and their reps from mental health charities BEN and Nabs, to find out more about the services they provide Haymarket employees. Plus, Haymarket’s mental health champions and mental health first aiders were on hand to answer any questions.
These events were supported with stories on their internal intranet and further information via Haymarket’s employee learning portal including five steps to improve mental wellbeing; two mental health guides for line managers and employees; and a series of Q&A’s with their mental health first aiders and mental health champions.
It doesn’t end here
Haymarket’s commitment to providing an environment where everyone can openly talk about their mental health didn’t begin and doesn’t end here.
Following on from charity bike rides, mindfulness walks and talks, lunch and learns, and free yoga sessions in past years, 2020 poses to be a year full of activities centred on improving employee wellbeing.
So far in 2020, Haymarket has invited a smoothie bike to brighten up Blue Monday, alongside desk yoga sessions to help people step back from their work and take a breath. For today’s Time to Talk Day, Haymarket will be doing a desk drop of selected chocolates and healthy snacks to encourage employees to take a break and talk to one another about their mental health.
Haymarket hopes that the launch of this initiative and their continued efforts will enable a more open and constructive conversation to develop across the business around mental health, whilst also helping those people who require additional support.
Purvika Patel, head of delegate acquisition and mental health champion said of the initiative, "I have always felt that health should come before wealth, and Haymarket is not only focusing on building revenue and growth, but ensuring that the health and happiness of their employees is imperative. I look forward to being a part of the Haymarket mental health initiative in my role as a mental health champion!"