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pladis UK&I prioritises mental health & wellbeing agenda committing to train its line-managers by 2019

  • More than 240 line-managers at pladis UK&I to be trained on mental health awareness and support
  • Line managers will work alongside a further 100 Mental Health & Wellbeing ambassadors
  • Company reaffirms its commitment to the Time to Change Employer Pledge
  • Series of awareness events planned for World Mental Health Awareness Day on 10th October

10 October 2018: pladis, the global snacking company behind the well-loved McVitie’s, Jacob’s and go ahead! brands, is making a step-change in its workplace mental health programme in the UK by committing to train its line managers on mental health by the end of 2019.

The training focuses on how to recognise the early signs of mental ill health, how to broach the issue and effective ways to support colleagues that need it. It is part of a range of initiatives designed to offer pladis’ 4,500-people-strong workforce in the UK a positive and healthy environment where they can thrive.

All line managers will work alongside over 100 Mental Health & Wellbeing ambassadors across the UK&I company who will promote the importance of positive wellbeing and support mental ill health by signposting colleagues to available tools. This includes pladis’ Employee Assistance Programme, offering free face-to-face sessions with a specialist and its 24-hour, 365 medical care.

pladis UK&I is already a leading supporter of the Time to Change movement – designed to end mental health stigma and discrimination in the workplace – and on 10th October to mark World Mental Health Day the company will be reaffirming this commitment by resigning its Employer pledge[i].

Jonny Jacobs, Strategy and Transformation Director at pladis UK&I, the lead sponsor for pladis’ mental health programme, said: “We have to recognise that mental health underpins wellbeing, and ultimately performance, in the workplace. It’s in all our interests to have a positive workforce who feel they are understood and supported in all aspects of their life. We are determined to create an environment where everyone at pladis can thrive.”

Tom Brake, Vice Chair, All Party Parliamentary Group on Mental Health said: “Fantastic to see pladis are committed to providing mental health support for their employees. As the issue is ignored far too often, prioritising well-being for staff should be a key target for all companies.  I hope to see many others follow pladis’ lead and increase training and awareness around mental health.”

Jo Loughran, Director of Time to Change said: “We are delighted that pladis is reaffirming its commitment to our Employer’s Pledge and taking action to create a working environment where people can open up to mental health problems; to talk and to listen.

“Being judged and isolated can be harder than the mental health problem itself but with the right support from those around them, people with mental health problems can recover and have equal opportunities in all areas of life – including work.”

Along with the Time to Change Employer Pledge re-signing, as part of World Mental Health Day, Jonny will also be on a panel discussion at the Mad World Forum on 9th October, a solutions-focused conference, to discuss the future of wellbeing in the workplace. This follows pladis’ attendance last month at MIND’s Mental Health at Work online gateway event, launched by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh in Bristol.

Other activities around the day include awareness-building and conversation-starting activities across pladis’ manufacturing sites and corporate offices in the UK.

Facts about mental health in the workplace[ii]:

  • 1 in 4 British workers are affected by conditions like anxiety, depression and stress every year
  • Mental ill-health is the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK, costing an average of £1,035 per employee per year
  • 95% of employees calling in sick with stress gave a different reason

[i] pladis UK&I first signed the growing movement of Time to Change supporters in May 2017 which now includes more than 800 employers in England across all sectors from FTSE 100 companies and leading retailers to Government departments and local authorities.

[ii] https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/get-involved/get-your-workplace-involved/employer-pledge