Supporting colleague wellbeing: Mental Health Awareness Week and beyond

Supporting colleague wellbeing: Mental Health Awareness Week and beyond

CSR Manager Emma Noble gives an insight into mental health awareness at Utilitywise.

Update 18/5/18 :

UK National Contact Centre Awards 2018 Gold WinnerWe’re delighted and so proud to let you know that Utilitywise won the Most Effective Health and Wellbeing Programme Award at the UK National Contact Centre Awards 2018.

Watch the team winning the awards here.

It’s the incredible hard work of those Mental Health First Aiders that was recognised at the awards. It’s a service ran by dedicated people, who care about their colleagues.

People Operations Director, Adrienne McFarland said: “A huge well done and well deserved win to our fab team at Utilitywise at the UK National Contact Centre Awards.”

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“Leave your problems at the door”, “stiff upper lip” and “man-up” are terms you won’t hear us say at Utilitywise.

As in any working environment, there are stresses and strains to working at Utilitywise. As we’ve evolved over the years we’ve come to realise that our colleagues’ wellbeing is a priority.

We want to be a supportive work environment for our colleagues, and the fact is, as well as being the right thing to do, it makes good business sense. According to the Office of National statistics, 137.3 million working days where lost due to sickness or injury in the UK in 2016; 11.5% of those where due to mental issues.

Since our founding in 2006, we’ve always valued our colleagues but we perhaps haven’t always implemented the right processes to ensure they have the best time possible at work. We realised this and decided to draw a line in the sand and start taking action.

We have a number of colleagues trained in Mental Health First Aid, which is great, but we wanted to do more so ‘Support and Talk’ was born. ‘Support and Talk’ is an internal support network ran by our Mental Health First Aiders . We’ve taken this proactive approach in an attempt to create an environment where it is okay to talk about mental health.

Leigh Oliphant, one of our Mental Health First Aiders said, “We can support anyone in the business who might be going through a bad period, whether that be at home or work. Colleagues can get in touch confidentially even if they just want someone to chat to.”

Breaking the stigma

Working in a holistic way, our Mental Health First Aiders can inform colleagues of external support networks if necessary, as well as provide guidance on internal resources.

Our work has received brilliant feedback from our colleagues like Ian who said: “Utilitywise has been fantastic over the past 18 months. I thought no one would listen to me but Utilitywise have bent over backwards and helped me so much.”

Colleague John added: “Utilitywise has acknowledged that mental health needs to be talked about. Utilitywise has not only has put me first, but has put my family first.”

Because of the great work our Mental Health First Aiders have done with ‘Support and Talk’, we’re delighted to have been shortlisted for a UK National Contact Centre Award, in the category of Most Effective Health and Wellbeing Programme.

We couldn’t be more proud of our nomination, and we’re looking forward to celebrating at the awards ceremony.

What’s next?

After the event later this month, we’re planning to build upon this success and provide more mental health training for our managers and leaders. Our goal is to create a completely inclusive environment here at Utilitywise, where everybody is comfortable and able to be open about mental health.

Supporting mental health is for the everyday, not just during awareness week so let’s continue to work together to #breakthestigma.


Posted by on Monday, the 14. May at 8.00

Utilitywise has been helping businesses manage their business utilities since 2006. With over 40,000 customers across Europe, we help businesses save time, save effort and save money by reducing their energy and water consumption.