Editorial 27 August 2020 v 2

Leading organisations recognise the benefits of peer-led networks to address different factors impacting the working lives of their employees. In fact, 90% of Fortune 500 companies have standardised such networks across their workforces.

When it comes to workplace mental health and wellbeing, such networks are often referred to as Employee Resource Groups (ERG’s), Mental Health First Aiders, Mental Health and Wellbeing Advocates or Champions. For companies committed to supporting their staff, putting these networks in place is one of the most cost-effective and successful ways to ensure a well workplace. If you want to create an effective ERG, here are key tips suggested by the experts, Mind Share Partners to help you get started.

And you may ask, how do you successfully implement peer support in the ‘new normal’? Zevo Health includes how to go about this as one of their top five tips to support remote workers through COVID-19.

Angela Lewis and Natalie Dinnick from Companies House shared with us a case study of the ways her organisation in just three years has built an award-winning workplace mental health programme, with Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAers) and Advocates being core to their success.

The focus of Mental Health First Aiders within a company is to be on hand for their colleagues, but they can also benefit from support themselves. Claire Farrow tells us how MH FAN, short for Mental Health First Aid Network, is a newly launched support network for MHFAers across the globe, providing resources, webinars and a safe space to connect with other certified peers.

Creating a safe, informal physical space for peer support is also a beneficial investment for employers. Ruth Pott explains how by designating wellbeing rooms for construction staff to use, BAM Nuttall alongside 13 other leading UK construction companies have seen 250 peer support conversations take place in just the first 3 months.

Perhaps you’re looking for a refresher on some of the leading ideas out there to ensure your staff continue to be supported through the health crisis? If so, read my selection of our five top recently published articles offering valuable and practical guidance to employers in 2020.

Peer-led networks will be a key topic discussed at our global series of digital events happening this September, October and November.

MAD World Summit UK takes place 8 October, 2020. Inspiring speakers include David Oldfield (Group Director, Commercial Banking, Lloyd’s Banking Group), Leena Nair (Chief Human Resources Officer, Unilever), Jon Slade (Chief Commercial Officer, Financial Times) and Dame Carol Black DBE (Expert Adviser on Health and Work to NHS Improvement and Public Health England).

Make a Difference US in association with Mind Share Partners takes place 15 October, 2020. Some of the exciting speakers recently announced include Guru Gowrappan (CEO, Verizon Media), Jessica DiVento (YouTube Chief Mental Health Advisor), Kevin Dedner (Founder & CEO, Hurdle), Deborah Olson (Principal Benefits Manager & Mental Health Champion, Genentech/Roche).

We hope you find this week’s issue enjoyable and valuable!

Well wishes,
Heather Kelly
Online Editor, Make a Difference News


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