Unlimited is rolling out the My Mind Matters programme in the wake of research that shows a ‘second pandemic’ of poor mental health gripping the UK, which includes a 15 per cent increase in urgent and emergency NHS referrals for mental health issues.
The programme is designed to normalise and support conversations about mental health in the workplace and equip employees with practical tools to intervene if colleagues are showing signs they might be struggling with mental health issues.
The programme covers self-care, stress awareness, common signs of mental health problems, anxiety and depression, supporting others, gambling, addiction and people in crisis.
New analysis by The Royal College of Psychiatrists has shown that addiction levels are at their highest since 2015, with more than 8.4 million people in the UK drinking at higher risk levels, up from 4.8 million in February.
Employees will be taught to develop action plans, and provided with resources to help change behavioural patterns and progress check-ins.
Unlimited said the plan includes developing a culture of openness and awareness of mental-health issues in the workplace.
“By training everyone at Unlimited we are tackling this problem head-on, and I’m hoping it will be a standard for our industry,” Unlimited HR director Ita Waller said.
“We are trying to address the stigma by empowering people through our internal My Mind Matters programme. By normalising conversations about mental health we can connect on better levels and inclusive cultures can thrive.”
PR leaders have previously told PRWeek they are concerned about the mental wellbeing of the industry over the winter months, and how months of lockdown and isolation is “chipping away” at people's mental resilience.
Thirty agency leaders recently attended a workshop to discuss developing a PR Mental Health and Wellbeing Charter.