LLOYDS EMPLOYEES VOLUNTEER FOR MENTAL HEALTH UK
While still less openly discussed than physical health, the issue of mental health across the UK population is gaining traction. There are stark statistics to back up the increased acknowledgement of the issue. Around one in four of the population will experience negative mental health at some point in the next year; anxiety and depression are among the commonest issues. At an organisational level, last week’s Mental Health Awareness Week UK saw many corporations taking proactive steps towards taking employee mental wellbeing seriously.
Between 8 and 14 May, the UK acknowledged Mental Health Awareness Week. While companies, businesses, charities and organisations marked the week in various ways, from fundraising to shows of solidarity, hundreds of employees from Lloyds Banking Group volunteered at Mental Health UK Service Centres around the country to improve facilities for people requiring a little extra support.
Fiona Cannon, group director for responsible business and inclusion, says, “Mental Health Awareness Week is a fantastic opportunity for our colleagues to demonstrate their support for our charity partner Mental Health UK. We know that one in four people are affected by poor mental health each year, and of these, around four million will also struggle with their financial wellbeing.”
Mental Health Awareness Week also coincided with Lloyds’ wider annual volunteering week, during which the bank encourages employees to dedicate time to help local or national projects. As a wider target, all employees are encouraged to spend at least eight hours annually volunteering with charitable organisations close to their hearts.
Cannon continues, “We have a presence in every community and so are partnering with Mental Health UK to raise awareness and help tackle this important issue across the country. Volunteering and sharing skills in the community plays an important role in our ambition to help Britain prosper and make a difference in communities across the UK.”
Brian Dow from Mental Health UK, says, “We are so grateful to the volunteers, because by rolling up their sleeves and helping out with things like gardening or painting during Mental Health Awareness Week, aside from the practical help, they will also be making new connections with their local communities, raising awareness of the importance of mental health support. Studies suggest that helping others is an excellent way of looking after our own mental wellbeing too."
Lloyds Banking Group is no stranger to fundraising in aid of mental health. In October 2016, a vote by colleagues saw 62% in favour of Mental Health UK, which comprises Rethink Mental Illness (England), Hafal (Wales), Mindwise (Northern Ireland) and Support in Mind (Scotland), being the company’s charitable partner for the following two years. The partnership will see Lloyds work with Mental Health UK throughout 2017 and 2018, with a particular focus on how money troubles can lead to, or exacerbate existing, mental health issues.