Our pledge to the Mental Health Commitment
It’s really important that people can be themselves at work, knowing that they will not be judged but respected. Our commitment to mental health is demonstrated by our pledge to the Mental Health Commitment which provides a framework for employers to create an environment where employees can thrive. The Commitment was developed by MIND and supported by the Royal Foundation and Heads Together and asks employers to:
- Prioritise mental health in the workplace by developing and delivering a systematic programme of activity
- Proactively ensure work design and organisational culture drive positive mental health outcomes
- Promote an open culture around mental health
- Increase organisational confidence and capability
- Provide mental health tools and support
- Increase transparency and accountability through internal and external reporting
Our Mental Health Employee Resource Group (ERG)
MindSet, our ERG for mental health and wellbeing, brings together colleagues and sponsors from across the business with the aim of raising awareness of mental health, creating a culture of openness and conversation and working with the organisation to develop a supportive culture with a focus mental wellbeing for all colleagues. It also provides a community of support for colleagues experiencing poor mental health, giving them access to our Mental Health First Aiders and a range of internal and external resources to help them manage their mental wellbeing.
Mental health problems affect one in four people in any given year. Any one of us, or those we live and work with, may have experienced the impact, which can be devastating, but often also hidden. Our mental wellbeing is dynamic. It can change from moment to moment, day to day, month to month or year to year. So we should all try and be mindful of our own mental wellbeing. And we should be more mindful of those around us.
Glynn Phillips, Executive Committee sponsor for safeguarding mental health
Supporting employees during the pandemic
At BAE Systems we have a number of programmes developed by experts to support employees in managing their mental health. These include access to a 24-hour Employee Assistance Programme run by professional councillors that offers on-the-spot support as well as longer term counselling. Throughout the Covoid-19 pandemic we have widened the scope of these programmes to include online mental resilience webinars and virtual one-one-coaching to support both employees who have returned to work at our sites and those who continue to work from home. During this time, many of our employees have felt they wanted help others by sharing their personal stories of mental health and we are helping them do so through our employee communications channels.
Mental Health Awareness and our First Aiders programmeRecently we were awarded both a Bronze in Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index and a Princess Royal Training Award for our approach to mental health awareness in the UK. Our Mental Health Awareness programme lies at the centre of these acknowledgements and to date more than 4,300 UK employees have taken part. We also have more than 300 mental health first aiders across our UK business. The first aiders act as an initial point of contact for anyone experiencing mental health challenges and can point people towards the help and support they need.
BAE Systems also supports armed forces charities for whom the mental health of veterans is a priority. This includes Combat Stress, and our current donation goes toward supporting specialist programmes for veterans as prior preparation for attending the six-week PTSD Intensive Treatment Programme.