A company has impressed both staff and customers alike on World Mental Health Day with its commitment to appearing to have a commitment to mental health in the workplace.
Tennant and Lowe Solutions Ltd recently announced a raft of measures that would give anyone taking a cursory look the impression that it genuinely cares about the mental health of its staff.
“Mental health is a real concern these days, you can’t just ignore it,” said HR manager Eleanor Gay.
“Since we made our commitment to appearing to be committed to mental health, you would notice a number of changes.”
Ms Gay gestures to posters on the wall.
“Posters are incredibly important. We’ve got posters everywhere now.”
“Take this one in particular,” she says whilst gesturing to a poster above the sink in the kitchen.
“It’s a picture of a sad lady sitting at her desk, and across the bottom it says ‘depression’.
“At first glance, you’d look at that and think – ‘yeah, they care’.”
However, there was more to Tennant and Lowe’s new commitment than just posters.
“No, we didn’t want this to be a superficial initiative so we’ve also set up a helpline.
“Well, I say a helpline, we’ve given everyone a phone number. Goes through to a man in Wales, I think. He seems nice. Not sure if he’ll be able to help with any specific mental health problems, though.”
Perhaps most impressive, though is the introduction of a quiet space.
“Yes, that’s our ‘reflection room’,” says Ms Gay, proudly.
“It’s actually a cupboard with some tins of paint in, but we always keep it locked so you’d never know. But, look, we’ve used a lovely ethnic-looking font on the reflection room sign.”
Ms Gay herself is the instigator of, what many people would agree, are industry-leading measures in committing to appearing to be committed to mental health.
She admits, however, that she got the idea from her previous place of work.
“Yes, we had a genuine commitment there to looking like we had a commitment to fire safety that was really efficient and cost-effective.
“After that company burnt down I moved here and applied the same principles to mental health.”