On Friday it was World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD). Every life lost to suicide is a tragedy. The Samaritans say suicide is preventable, it’s not inevitable. Looking after our team members’ physical and mental wellbeing has always been a priority at bartlett mitchell. As a result of Covid-19, the impact on our team members’ lives and work is significant. And we have recognised the resulting mental challenges our team members face.

We want to create an environment where all team members feel safe to be themselves without fear of judgement. Our unique culture values authenticity and openness. This is how we believe everyone can flourish.

In preparation for a significant return to the workplace, we have set up initiatives to support our team members’ mental wellbeing.

Access for team members to mental health first aiders

Alongside our site first aiders we have trained a team of Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA). They have achieved a Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Mental Health First Aid and Mental Health Advocacy in the Workplace . Their availability is advertised to team members at any level. Or team members can be referred by line managers and HR. The MHFA team also meet once a month so they can support each other as well as provide support to #Bmfamily team members.

The Burnt Chef Project

Our training team have partnered with The Burnt Chef Project to deliver online courses for managing mental health. The Burnt Chef Project is a non-profit campaign and clothing brand set up to challenge and eradicate mental health stigma in hospitality. In their recent survey 80 of respondents had experienced mental health issues within their career. And 46% would not feel comfortable talking about their health concerns with their colleagues.  We believe that although mental health can’t be seen, it’s vital that team members feel able to discuss it. We want them to feel supported by their colleagues and managers.

You can find out more about The Burnt Chef project’s aim to burn away mental health stigma within hospitality here. https://www.theburntchefproject.com/

We’re a mental health confident employer

We made the public commitment to sign the Mental Health Charter pledge. The charter provides us with access to mental health support, awareness, and training. And access to systems that support team members’ mental wellbeing including a Mental Health Hub, videos, and podcasts.

The #BmFamily approach to supporting team members’ mental wellbeing

Our company-wide approach protects and improves mental health for everyone, whilst supporting those team members who experience distress. We continually live our value – ‘obsessive about our people’ so that our everyday working culture is as mentally healthy as possible.

Senior leaders and site managers are empowered to implement mental health programmes. Regular team member surveys, job chats and weekly team talks take place to build a picture about our teams’ mental health. We use these findings to plan and inform our workplace strategies and policies.

We’ve made evidence-based mental health tools like mindfulness and exercise accessible to all team members.

We recognise the impact of our team members’ lived experience of mental health challenges and feel they bring a unique perspective to bartlett mitchell. We take part in many corporate social responsibility activities centred on the mental health and wellbeing of our teams and wider community, including Brew Monday, a Samaritans initiative.

Mental health is included in our diversity and inclusion strategies. Discrimination on the grounds of mental health status is as totally unacceptable.

SHOUT tips have been shared with team members on how to cope with worries about redundancy/job insecurity caused by the pandemic

We launched new CareFirst EAP free phone help/advice line and web-based wellbeing resource portal.

We are supporting national and local anti-stigma initiatives such as ‘Time to Change’, ‘The Burnt Chef’ and Mental Health Awareness Week.

Creating hope through action 

This year’s Samaritan’s WSPD theme is ‘Creating Hope Through Action’, which aims to empower people with the confidence to engage with the complexity of ‘hope’. The Samaritans asked people to share the things that they do which helps them feel hopeful when they’re going through a difficult time.

By creating the right culture, we hope that there is no stigma to mental health at bartlett mitchell and that no one feels alone in the #BmFamily.

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