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Cultivating a work culture with compassion

Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) mental health initiative gains momentum

Two men sitting in an office discussing mental health

In a dedicated commitment to the mental health of its workforce, KCS is taking significant steps with its mental health awareness scheme.

The impactful initiative has gained incredible momentum since its beginnings in 2019 with the active involvement of 77 participants from company locations across the country. The program is designed to emphasise awareness and support, recognising the multifaceted nature of mental health challenges. Going beyond mere acknowledgment, KCS is actively aiming to facilitate an environment that encourages dialogue, understanding and a proactive approach to mental well-being.

The heart of this initiative lies in its training course, empowering employees to become Mental Health First Aid Champions. These champions, strategically positioned across the organisation, play a crucial role in creating a culture of understanding, empathy and open communication surrounding mental health challenges.

Chris Bendelow-Smith, Global Talent Development Partner at KCS, sheds light on the program's aim: "Our collaborative approach ensures that employees have various avenues for support and guidance, further strengthening our commitment to their well-being and our inclusive company culture."

He adds, "we strongly encourage others to take part in similar programs, as they not only enhance the well-being of individuals but also contribute to a more compassionate and supportive work culture."

The program equips volunteers with the knowledge and understanding of common mental health issues, the confidence to advocate for mental health awareness and the ability to spot signs of mental ill health.

Dane Evans, a Mental Health First Aid Champion, shares his insights: "The course opened my eyes that regardless of how people come across and where they are positioned within a business, mental health can impact everyone and behind the interior can be a completely different story to what you see. The training has taught me to never judge and assume.”

In 2019, the BIMA Tech Inclusion & Diversity Report revealed that individuals in the tech sector are five times more likely to experience depression than the UK's general population.

Carolyn Adams, Chief People Officer at KCS, expresses the significance of this initiative, saying, "Our team of Champions seamlessly complement our existing employee assistance programs. By having a network of champions strategically placed throughout the organisation, we're creating an environment where mental health is openly discussed. We have prioritised this scheme- we believe it’s crucial in today's workplace. Acknowledging and addressing mental health challenges is more important than ever."

As KCS propels its mental health initiative, the company remains dedicated to becoming a leader in promoting a workplace culture that values the mental well-being of its employees. The commitment of 77 individuals nationwide underscores the growing recognition of mental health's importance. This transformative journey continues to make waves, setting a benchmark for others to follow in promoting mental well-being across diverse workplaces.

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