MAKE A DIFFERENCE | workplace culture / mental health / wellbeing

Business Leaders Launch The Global Business Collaboration for Better Workplace Mental Health

A coalition of global organisations and business leaders who are committed to advancing mental health awareness and best practices in the workplace have announced the formation of The Global Business Collaboration for Better Workplace Mental Health.

This new business-led collaboration will advocate for and accelerate what it believes is critical change for workplace mental health on a global basis.

The Global Business Collaboration for Better Workplace Mental Health, whose founding partners include leaders of BHP, Clifford Chance, Deloitte, HSBC, Salesforce and Unilever, will be a global initiative to raise awareness of the importance of mental health in the workplace and facilitate the adoption of best practices, enabling employees to thrive in the workplace and beyond.

Even before the pandemic, workplace stigma associated with mental health was a challenge for employers and employees alike, according to the Deloitte Global 2020 Millennial Survey.

Recognising the growing importance and priority of this issue, as business navigates its way through the pandemic, The Global Business Collaboration for Better Workplace Mental Health, founding partners BHP CEO Mike Henry, Clifford Chance Managing Partner Matthew Layton, Deloitte Global CEO Punit Renjen, HSBC Group Chief Executive Noel Quinn, Salesforce Chair and CEO Marc Benioff and Unilever CEO Alan Jope are joining together to launch a global campaign and action coalition to drive change in business and society by tackling workplace mental health.

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The Founding CEOs stated: “As we look to rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic, the business community must prioritise and invest in the mental health of all employees—this is not just a business initiative, but a social imperative that will drive positive and long-lasting effects for society”.

“We invite other leaders of businesses – whether large or small – to join this global movement to advance the desperately needed conversation around creating an open, welcoming, and supportive workplace environment for all when it comes to mental health in the workplace.”

To join, leaders must sign a pledge and commit to the following actions within their business:

  • Develop and deliver an action plan to foster good mental health in the respective organisation;
  • Promote an open culture around mental health that aims to eliminate stigma;
  • Take proactive steps to develop the culture and ways of working towards creating positive mental health and reducing mental ill-health;
  • Empower all employees to manage and prioritise their mental health and support one another;
  • Inform employees of available mental health tools and support they need;
  • Regularly measure the impact of the efforts, being open about our progress, to influence and inspire change in the organisation and beyond.

Through taking action against each of these commitments, leaders can play their part not only in tackling mental health in their own workplace but also in reducing stigma in their local communities, improving the lives of employees, families, and friends.

Dévora Kestel, Director of Mental Health and Substance Use, World Health Organization (WHO) said: “Work, including working conditions, is one of the key social determinants of mental health. That is why it is imperative that employers around the world prioritise the implementation of evidence-based measures in the workplace to support the mental well-being of their employees. The Global Business Collaborative for Better Workplace Mental Health stands to make a difference in accelerating action by employers.”

As a business-led collaboration, The Global Business Collaboration for Better Workplace Mental Health aims to utilise a diverse set of perspectives from businesses, wellness experts, existing mental health alliances, and not-for-profit organisations to create a comprehensive and powerful alliance focused on bringing about tangible change when it comes to mental health in the workplace.

Supporting organisations for The Global Business Collaboration for Better Workplace Mental Health include the World Health Organization, the World Economic Forum and United for Global Mental Health.

Arnaud Bernaert, Head, Shaping the Future of Health and Healthcare, World Economic Forum said: “Congratulations to the founding partners in the launch of the Global Business Collaboration for Workplace Mental Health. We’re encouraged by their commitment to prioritising evidence-based approaches to support the mental well-being of their employees. With more than half of working adults reporting increases in anxiety and decreases in productivity at work in response to COVID-19, coordinated action and public-private partnerships are key to galvanizing action among employers globally to promote wellbeing of their workforces now and in the future.”

About The Global Business Collaboration for Better Workplace Mental Health

The Global Business Collaboration for Better Workplace Mental Health is a business-led initiative whose mission is to advocate for – and accelerate – positive change for mental health in the workplace on a global basis. Our vision is a world where all workplace leaders recognise, have the right tools, and commit to take tangible and evidence-based action on mental health and wellbeing in the workplace, enabling their workforce to thrive. Founding partners include BHP, Clifford Chance, Deloitte, HSBC, Salesforce and Unilever.