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  • Date: 10/05/2021

We have introduced wellbeing mentors to help increase mental health conversations in both the virtual and physical workplace.

Each mentor has taken part in training to help them provide the best support possible. They will be able to help staff start conversations about their mental health, signpost to internal and external support and raise awareness of wellbeing activities available. Mentors will also be able to provide a listening ear to those either living and working alone or unable to confide in friends and family.

We already have a strong culture of listening to and supporting people. Our staff can access an employee assistance programme with counsellors available 24/7, an intranet wellbeing hub with mental and physical wellbeing information and have recently launched a survey to find out more about current staff wellbeing. The Group also launched a virtual brew to help those feeling isolated or disconnected catch up with colleagues and sent personalised cards and gifts to thank staff during the COVID pandemic.

The introduction of the wellbeing programme became a priority for the Group at the end of last year when it became clear home working would continue. “We have always been passionate about people” says Honeycomb Group Chief Executive Diane Thompson. “The support our brands have provided to local people during the last 12 months has been extraordinary. They have worked tirelessly to make sure our customers are OK, but we want to make sure they’re OK too!”

Building a vibrant culture has always been a priority, but COVID and the new virtual, at home, way of working has accelerated the need for more wellbeing support. We can’t forget that people are living alone and becoming isolated or that parents are having to juggle work, home-schooling and everything in between. There’s also people who have lost loved ones or struggling with their mental health. It would be so easy to miss these things now many are working from home. We are passionate about maintaining the incredible support our teams provide in the community but to achieve great things we must make people, mental health and wellbeing a priority

Diane Thompson
Group Chief Executive

Wellbeing mentor Helen, Senior Customer Services Advisor at Staffs Housing says: “I am really passionate about mental health and have completed both mental health first aid training and a counselling qualification. A huge part of my job is listening to our residents and supporting them but I really liked the idea of being able to help my colleagues too.”

Ruth, Programme Lead at Glow, is also one of 12 wellbeing mentors. She adds: “Having supported children and young people for over 30 years it has been essential I maintain my own mental health and encourage others to talk about theirs. There have been times when I have had to ‘audit’ where I am mentally, kind of like a physical health check-up and also recognise how important it is to have open conversations. I’m hoping to lead by example and reach out to any colleague who could benefit from my help. I’m a firm believer that there are no difficult questions and sometimes just asking someone how they are can really start a good conversation about their wellbeing.”