Asda sparks conversation on World Mental Health Awareness Day
Today, Asda is recognising World Mental Health Awareness Day by introducing a new dedicated Mental Health policy for its 162,000 colleagues.
The new framework, which will supplement the existing wellbeing policies, will give managers more in-depth and practical guidance to help support colleagues in the modern day workplace.
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With Mental Health and colleague wellbeing being at the front of Asda’s agenda, the retailer is also marking the global day by hosting an event with Leeds Community Foundation, encouraging business leaders in the region to discuss practical solutions to supporting the one in four people that suffer from Mental Health issues every year.
Mental ill health costs British business £26 billion a year, and is a growing issue that cannot be ignored by UK communities and businesses, as its individuals that transform cities and workplaces through their drive and ambition.
Asda has committed to breaking down the stigma of mental health in the workplace and the introduction of the Mental Health policy is another major milestone on its journey, providing a framework to enable them to have sensitive and caring conversations. The launch is being supported by a digital magazine which will be accessible to all colleagues to inform them about the policy and help that is available.
This new policy follows the recent opening of the Wellness Hub at Asda House. A dedicated space designed by colleagues for colleagues, to provide some calm and stillness away from the busy working environment. It offers education for managers looking to support colleagues facing mental health issues, as well as two private rooms for 1-2-1 consultations which are available for colleagues to use.
Kate Fisher, Senior Director of Talent, Capability & Leadership, at Asda said: “At Asda, our open culture is key to changing the conversation around mental health. We have created a working environment where we take care of our colleagues, which are now supported even further by the Hub and our new mental health policy.
“Our colleagues – all 162,000 of them – are at the heart of everything we do. We couldn’t run our business without them so it’s vital that we are taking care of their health and wellbeing.”
Asda is also supporting the ‘Healthy Minds for a Thriving City’ event todaywhich will bring together senior decision makers from across the city to provide the opportunity for an open conversation about mental health.
Keynote speakers include Clarke Carlisle, former QPR and Burnley defender, and Alastair Campbell, former Political Communications Director, who will speak on their experience of battling with depression and the importance for social change. The event aims to connect Leeds with business and highlight the need for both to ‘play their part’ in understanding, normalising and breaking down the stigma around mental health issues in the workplace and across the city.
Kate added: “The Healthy Minds for a Thriving City event really compliments what we are doing as a business and we were keen to get involved and offer our support to a really important conversation that the business community should be having.”
Sally-Anne Greenfield, Chief Executive, Leeds Community Foundation said: “Leeds Community Foundation connects people who want to make a real difference to our city. With 1 in 4 of us experiencing mental health problems each year, this is an issue that can’t be ignored. Earlier this year we launched ‘The Leeds Fund’ with a strategic priority of mental health, to help provide and raise funding for mental health-focussed community groups in Leeds. We are delighted to be hosting this event with Asda and hope it will play a part in helping to end the stigma surrounding mental health. ”
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