UK retailers launch online tool to support staff mental health
23rd October, 2019
At this year’s Mad World Summit, we reinforced the
message that collaboration is key if we are going to accelerate the shift from
the stigma that has traditionally surrounded talking about mental health to
So, it is great to see that Seven
major UK retailers have teamed up with mental health charity Samaritans to
create an online wellbeing guide for workers in the sector.
This is even more significant given
that Internetretailing.net is lead retail sector media partner for Mad World
and retailTrust is the event’s lead retail sector charity partner.
The John Lewis Partnership, Tesco,
Sainsbury’s, ASOS, the Co-op, M&S and Next have all funded the Wellbeing in
Retail initiative, which aims to provide mental health support for the 2.9
million people in UK retail.
The guide aims to help staff to look
after their own mental health as well as identify and colleagues who may have
Accessible through desktop and mobile
devices, Wellbeing in Retail offers resources such as guides for breathing
techniques, the Samaritans listening wheel, a mood barometer. It also offers
support films from mental health experts.
A survey of 2000 retail workers
commissioned by John Lewis, M&S, the Co-op and Next found that 50% could
not recognise the signs of somebody needing emotional support and 25% were not
confident approaching an upset colleague.
Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: “Mental health
issues can affect us all - and stigmas and barriers that once prevented people
talking about the issues are starting to erode.
world of work and retail in particular, is fast-paced and constantly changing,
and we want employees to feel supported. I hope this guide is a stepping stone
to creating further conversations on mental health and gives workers the
confidence to use it when they may need it.”
Sutherland, Chief Executive of the Samaritans said: “It’s so encouraging to see
retailers come together like this for the first time in the interest of
improving their staff’s mental health.
recent years, we have seen a real step change in the attitudes and behaviours
of employers as they actively seek to address how they can improve wellbeing in
the workplace and we are proud to be part of making this transition
Cary Cooper CBE who specialises in organisational psychology and health and is
supporting the guide’s launch said: “We spend a third of our lives at work, so
it’s inevitable that it can impact our overall health and wellbeing. In my
opinion you can never provide enough mental health support at work so I welcome
the launch of this guide as it could benefit so many retail workers.”
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Europe Editor, InternetRetailing.net