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Nestlé marks Mental Health Awareness Week

mental health awareness week two female employees wearing green ribbons

Nestlé in the UK and Ireland is marking Mental Health Awareness Week with a number of updates on how the world’s biggest food and drinks producer is tackling poor mental health amongst its UK and Ireland workforce.

No one is immune from mental health problems. According to the mental health charity Mind, approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. In England, 1 in 6 people experience a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week. Mental health problems are now the leading cause of absenteeism at work, and businesses like Nestlé are not immune.

Nestlé is on a journey when it comes to tackling poor mental health amongst its people. In 2014, the business started to talk about mental health at all levels, which was a big cultural and behavioural change for a business that has been around since 1866. Now, whether in team meetings or more formal communications like email newsletters and posters, the importance of mental health wellbeing is accepted and encouraged to be openly discussed without fear or stigma. Once Nestlé UK and Ireland was confident we had raised awareness sufficiently amongst Nestlé people we partnered with MHFA England, to introduce training for Mental Health First Aiders. These are Nestlé employees who have been specifically trained to listen, offer emotional support and signposting for colleagues suffering from a mental health problem. The scheme has been such a success that 50+ Nestlé people signed up for the 2019 cohort, joining the existing 2018 cohort.

One of the resources a Mental Health First Aider can direct Nestlé people towards is the free Employee Assistance programme, available exclusively for employees and their families. With 24/7 confidential live support and an online portal, the service can organise counselling and other services that can benefit those suffering with a mental health problem.

In 2019 Nestlé has been proud to participate in the ‘This Is Me’ campaign, run by numerous businesses to talk more openly about mental health. People with experience of a mental health problem, whether their own or of a loved one are encouraged to share their stories in a series of films.

Some inspiring Nestlé people have taken part in the ‘This is Me’ campaign, sharing their moving personal stories and experiences, helping to connect authenically with others in the business. Scroll down to hear their stories.

Jo Ward

Andrew Newson

In support of Mental Health Awareness Week, Nestlé sites are handing out green ribbon pin badges, the international symbol for mental health awareness. By wearing a green ribbon pin badge, Nestlé people can visibly show they are joining the growing movement for good mental health for all.