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.
Our rail company Southeastern is leading the way in supporting mental health at work. It has a mental health team, and a dedicated area in Margate in Kent where colleagues can attend mental health meetings in confidence.
The company runs a Colleague Mental Health Advocate Programme, with 24 fully trained mental health advocates who are situated at locations acoss the network. These volunteers have completed a Level 2 Counselling Skills accreditation with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy. They are able to provide peer-to-peer emotional support to colleagues in the form of a safe, confidential conversation – signposting to further resources if required.
Southeastern signed the Time to Change pledge in October 2018, underpinning its desire to support colleagues and their mental health at work. In 2018 colleagues from Southeastern also launched a mental health-focused network group called "Mind the Gap". This network helps colleagues to support each other through difficult times and provide peer support.
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.