Research shows that one in four people will experience a mental health problem in any given year.
As a major employer across the regions we operate, it is imperative that we create awareness of poor mental health among colleagues so that they are supported in difficult times.
Southeastern signed the Time to Change pledge in October 2018, underpinning its desire to support colleagues and their mental health at work. Southeastern has to pledge to adopt seven standards, including raising internal awareness about mental health, providing information about mental health support and services, and recruiting employee champions. In 2018 colleagues from Southeastern also launched a mental health-focused network group called "Mind the Gap".
The Colleague Mental Health Advocate Programme has 24 fully trained and operational mental health advocates, situated at locations across the network. These are volunteers from across the organisation who have all completed a Level 2 Counselling Skills accreditation with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy. Advocates are customer-facing employees who have received specialist training and can provide peer-to-peer emotional support to colleagues in the form of a safe, confidential conversation – signposting to further resources if required.
In its continuing commitment to support the mental health and well being of its workforce, Southeastern has partnered with the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) in a new trial, entitled ‘With You in Mind’, to help colleagues with mental health difficulties thrive at work. The project will provide direct support to employees struggling with mental health and to managers and advocates who would like to improve their confidence in supporting employees with mental health difficulties.
By promoting mental wellbeing among colleagues, Southeastern is helping to stop the stigma that surrounds poor mental health and support those in the organisation who are affected by it. It has also signed the ‘Mindful Employer’ pledge, committing to engage, educate and embed mental health at work awareness into the organisation.