Posted on 30th June, 2009
Nationwide Building Society has become the 500th signatory of the MINDFUL EMPLOYER Charter for Employers who are Positive about Mental Health. Nationwide has built up an excellent reputation as a supportive employer working closely with its employees to improve health and well-being. With 19,000 staff across the UK, Nationwide is the largest private sector organisation to make this commitment. “As a major UK employer the mental health and well-being of our employees is paramount to our business and therefore Nationwide is proud to be the 500th signatory of the MINDFUL EMPLOYER Charter,“ said Darren Palmer, senior manager, Employee Engagement , Nationwide. “We recognise the importance of supporting employees in the workplace by breaking down barriers and removing the stigma attached to mental health issues. We demonstrate our commitment to both potential new and existing employees through a range of occupational health policies and practices, which enrich both the employee and customer experience at Nationwide.” The Charter is a set of aspirations and employers signing it commit to working towards enhancing current good practice and improving their support for staff who experience harmful levels of stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health problems. “Nationwide is a major employer in the UK and a well-known high street name,” said Richard Frost, who coordinates MINDFUL EMPLOYER. “For them to sign the Charter as the 500th signatory in the UK is a significant milestone for MINDFUL EMPLOYER. It also illustrates that many employers of all sizes and sectors now see mental health as having a major impact on their businesses,” MINDFUL EMPLOYER (www.mindfulemployer.net) was formed in 2004 and is aimed at increasing awareness of mental health at work and providing ongoing support for employers in recruitment and retention of staff. Participating employers may wish to take part in local networks set up to share experience and best practice on workplace mental health issues. The initiative is run by WorkWAYS, a service of Devon Partnership NHS Trust and is open to any employer anywhere in the UK. Nationwide has its headquarters in Swindon. David Latham of Richmond Fellowship Wiltshire, Project Leader of the Swindon MINDFUL EMPLOYER Network said: “Nationwide is a major employer in the town and to have them as a Charter signatory is wonderful news! They are now part of a fast growing Swindon network of employers dedicated to improving employee mental well-being. Importantly the MINDFUL EMPLOYER principles and network can help businesses reduce sickness absence and improve productivity.” The Swindon MINDFUL EMPLOYER Network meets every few months and is supported by the Swindon Primary Care Trust.