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Time to Talk: Normalising the conversation around mental health


Time to Talk: Normalising the conversation around mental health

In the UK, around 51% of all long-term workplace illness is to do with mental health and only 13% of employees feel comfortable discussing their mental health with their colleagues.

At Nationwide, we want to change this! We care about the mental well-being of our colleagues and customers and think everyone should be empowered to talk openly and feel safe in seeking help when they need it. Our Mental Health Network ‘Minds Matter’ is focused on mental health and emotional well-being.  It’s run by employees for employees.  And their vision is to transform how colleagues think and to talk openly about mental health.

Going the extra mile for our colleagues and customers

Not only do we have a dedicated Employee Network that focuses on putting mental health and well-being at the forefront of conversations, but we also invest in our people to become Nationwide MHFAiders®. Our MHFAiders® are volunteers trained by MHFA England Instructor Members to spot the early signs of poor mental health, including warning signs of common mental health crises, how to offer and provide initial help, and how to encourage colleagues to seek appropriate professional treatment and other sources of support. 

Sian Briddon, founder of Minds Matter and MHFA England instruction member expresses:

“It’s crucial to normalise mental health conversations in the workplace. We have trained Minds Matter volunteers who are available to provide first-line support and early intervention for colleagues and their mental health and this also includes domestic abuse and first aid.”

Our trained mental health first aiders can recognise and respond to signs of mental health, whether colleagues just need to talk to someone or need more professional help they’ll guide those individuals to their most appropriate form of support.

Working closely with Minds Matter, our Employee Network Man2Man is an initiative that wants all men to think about their well-being, talk about how they feel and take positive action. With 46% of men embarrassed or ashamed to tell their employer that they are struggling with mental health, it’s important now more than ever to break the stigma.

Ben Albone, founder of Man2Man says:

“We want all men to think about their well-being and take positive action. So, we do that by creating an environment where we can build collaborations and give people these platforms to speak. There’s so many resources, skills, and knowledge within minds Matter that it just strengthens what we’re able to do.”

Providing Simply brilliant service to our customers in branch isn’t just about supporting them with the products and services we offer, it’s about being there for them when they’re going through difficult times.

Harry Skinner, a deputy branch manager explains:

“We see a wide range of sad times in our branches and customers going through difficult moments, so allowing us to really know how to help ourselves and help our colleagues working in branches, really allows us to then support our customers further.”

Real change, led by our people.

We’re creating an environment where we can bring our true selves to work, no matter what our differences may be.

We know the power our people can bring to inclusion and diversity. So, we encourage them to share ideas and experiences. And to engage others in doing their bit for our Society.

Our 11 Employee Network Groups and 4 Support Groups are open to all colleagues, including those who share similar characteristics or life experiences and who want to connect with others.

Find out more about our Employee Networks here.


MHFA England

Mental Health UK