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Nestlé make commitment on World Mental Health day

Paul Steadman (Group HR Director), Andrew Berrie (Change Employer Programme Manager), June Clark (Health and Wellbeing Manager)
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Paul Steadman (Group HR Director), Andrew Berrie (Change Employer Programme Manager), June Clark (Health and Wellbeing Manager)

Nestlé UK & Ireland has marked its ongoing commitment to talk about mental health.

On World Mental Health day, Nestlé UK & Ireland marked the commitment by signing the Time to Change pledge.

The pledge, set up by Time to Change and led by mental health charity’s Mind, and Re think Mental Health is a public commitment to change the way we think and act about mental health in the workplace.

At Nestlé, we are committed to support our people with their mental wellbeing, and create an environment where we can bring our whole selves to work, but offer support when we can't.

The commitment is supported by a two-year employer action plan to put in place processes and policies to help employees work in ways that promote positive wellbeing. Nestlé is already a mindful employer and this pledge builds on this commitment.

This programme will include training line managers across the business and bring focus to supporting all employees and having open conversations about mental health.

Director of HR, Paul Steadman said: "I am very pleased to have signed the pledge, especially on World Mental Health Day, which signals our ongoing commitment to talk about mental health. We are encouraged and proud that this year we have also started introducing Mental Health First Aiders across our business. Since partnering with Mental Health First Aid England, we have trained more than 150 people. These are Nestlé employees have been specifically trained to listen, offer emotional support and signpost colleagues suffering with their mental health.

Paul Steadman (Group HR Director), Andrew Berrie (Change Employer Programme Manager), June Clark (Health and Wellbeing Manager) with Mental Health First Aiders Elisa Wilson (Consumer Engagement Executive) and Neil Thompson (Customer Business Executive)

"We have come a long way in the last few years and acknowledge we still have some way to go in our journey. Our ambition is to continue to help more of our people talk more openly about mental health and feel confident that they can bring their whole selves to work."

Rosamunde Hobson with her dog Trigger
Rosamunde Hobson with her dog Trigger

Andrew Berrie, Time to Change Employer Programme Manager said: “We’re delighted to see Nestlé take the Time to Change Employers Pledge. By signing the pledge and introducing mental health awareness training, and developing a new wellbeing policy, Nestlé are demonstrating a real commitment to changing the way we all think and act about mental health in the workplace.

“We know it can be hard to talk about mental health, which is why we work with employers to encourage staff at all levels to open up; to talk and to listen. Too many people with mental health problems are made to feel isolated, ashamed and worthless, but with the right support, those of us with mental health problems can recover and have equal opportunities in all areas of life. Everyone’s attitude makes a difference and it’s fantastic to see organisations like Nestlé taking the lead.”

Mental Health First Aider Rosamunde Hobson, based at Nestlé in York, said: "I chose to become a Mental Health First Aider as I wanted to become more conscious about my own mental health and learn the skills to spot signs to support my family, friends and colleagues. Too often mental health goes either unnoticed or has a stigma attached to it which makes people shy away from the issue; the result is people do not get the necessary support that they require and early intervention is missed.

"From a personal perspective I have been guilty of burying my head in the sand when things have got tough and not asking for help or even recognising properly how I felt. I feel I now have the tools to enable me to understand my own feelings better, be able to spot signs in others and I have a clear understanding of the support that is available to help."

Our Pets at Work scheme is now in five Nestlé offices across the UK and Ireland. It has been proven having dogs in the workplace can reduce and relieve stress and anxiety. Around 40% of people with pets at work said it enhanced work-life balance, and 91% dogs had a calming influence in the workplace.

Gemma Gillingham and Labrador-cross Max
  Gemma Gillingham with Max   


Gemma Gillingham, who bring Max, a Labrador-cross with her to work in Gatwick, said her and Max rescued each other.

"Animals have always been my go-to at times of stress and this became my focal point when at 13, I was mugged at gun point when out with friends and really struggled to cope.

"Following the mugging and leaving home, I struggled with leaving the house without my dog. When I bought my first house, I lived for three months without one and it was awful, having a detrimental effect on my mental health. I have had many dogs since and currently I have my Lab-cross Max. I rescued Max and he rescued me.

"Being able to bring him to work has been brilliant for both of us. The fact that he is with me all the time gives me the support I need to leave the house. If life is overwhelming at work we can sit in one of our dog gardens and just take a few minutes to regroup and regain calm before getting back to the day. He is always happy to see people and offer that support when it's needed. It has also helped me to build bonds with people outside of my immediate team, which has helped me to feel happy and confident in the work environment.”

Paul Steadman added: "We are proud of the progress we have made and I am looking forward to seeing how we build on this and the impact it makes in making Nestlé a great place to work."


Editors notes:

World Mental Health Day is the 10th October every year and is an opportunity to talk about mental health, raise awareness and address stigma.

Mental Health First Aid, Pets at Work and employee health checks, just three ways Nestlé is supporting employee wellbeing. Find out more ways here

By signing the Time to Change Employer Pledge, Nestlé has committed to changing the way we think and act about mental health in the workplace, joining a growing movement of over 1,200 organisations including Tesco, E.ON, British Gas, Ernst & Young, Transport for London, Stagecoach UK, Barclays, Shell, Pepsico, Marks and Spencer, and many NHS trusts, universities and local authorities.

Since 2009, Time to Change, run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, has been supporting employers to a create a more open and understanding culture around mental health problems in the workplace, assisting employers to develop their workplace wellbeing interventions and action plans and providing a range of free resources, training and networking.

For more information, please contact the Nestlé UK press office at [email protected] or call us on 020 8667 6005.

Nestlé is the world’s largest food and beverage company. With more than 2000 brands ranging from global icons to local favourites, we are present in 191 countries around the world. Follow our UK and Ireland team Follow us on Twitter @NestleUKI