Marking Mental Health Awareness Week at Tesco Bank

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, which offers an opportunity to raise awareness of mental health and encourage colleagues to talk about it.   

Mental health problems can affect anyone, any day of the year, but this week is a great time to have a chat with a friend, family member or colleague and have think about your own wellbeing too.

As Executive Committee Sponsor of the Enabled at Tesco network, which supports colleagues with disabilities and mental health conditions, I’m proud to mark this week and drive forward our commitment to colleagues.

In the UK, one in four people will experience a mental health condition, with one in six of us experiencing a common mental health problem in any given week. Suicide is now the biggest killer of men under 45 with 75% of suicide deaths being male – 84 men each week.

At Tesco Bank, we’re committed to eradicating the stigma around Mental Health and over the last two years, have continued to invest in support which is available for colleagues to help them look after their mental health and get help when they need it most.

Making real, sustainable change requires actions, not just words, and so today I’m proud to share the commitments that we're making. As a symbol of our commitment, this week I’ll be committing the Bank to these actions as part of the Time to Change pledge:

Building a Better Understanding of Mental Health

From today, we’ll be asking all of our colleagues to take part in Mental Health Awareness Training, developed by our mental health partners, Mind. This training explores what is meant by mental health, how to look after it, common mental health conditions including signs and symptoms and how we can offer support to others.

This training will not only help us to create an environment at Tesco Bank where colleagues understand more about mental health, but will support our colleagues will crucial skills and understanding to support their friends, family and colleagues and ultimately help reduce stigma surrounding mental health in society.

Building Line Manager Capability on Supporting Mental Health

To ensure that our colleagues with line management responsibilities have a strong foundation of knowledge on how to support their colleagues with mental health, we will be asking all of our line managers to attend a half day workshop designed by our mental health partner, SAMH.

This training builds on our Mental Health Awareness Training and uses real life scenarios to help build the confidence and capability of our line managers to have conversations about mental health, to understand what kind of scenarios they may come across as a line manager and to give them the knowledge to support colleagues to get the best help that they may need.

Extending our Mental Health First Aider Programme

Our Mental Health First Aider Programme operates across all of our offices, with a dedicated phone line, face to face, email and instant messenger support. It offers our colleagues a non-judgemental listening service for those who want to speak with colleagues who have been specially trained in mental health.

We’re delighted to be extending this to ensure that we have at least 16 Mental Health First Aiders in all of our main Tesco Bank sites and will be increasing the visibility of this programme across our offices.