WPP has created a new program to help its workers in light of the pandemic’s difficulties as well as the consequences of societal conflict and injustice throughout the world on people’s mental health.
The Mental Health Allies program, which will be available to all 10,000 UK employees, aims to minimize mental health stigma by promoting open discussions. More than 250 Allies from across WPP’s agencies volunteered and were trained by Mental Health at Work.
They will serve as a mental health resource to their co-workers, listening, pointing individuals in the right direction, and assisting them in feeling supported and healthy. A pilot will be undertaken in the United States before being rolled out to other areas.
The Mental Health Allies effort was started by MediaCom, led by Nancy Lengthorn, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, under the supervision of Global COO Josh Krichefski, and will now be expanded internationally to its 8,000 workers.
WPP’s new network of Allies is part of the company’s larger effort to make mental health a priority in the workplace, which includes its global Employee Assistance Program (EAP), a free and confidential 24/7 counseling and support service for employees and eligible family members, as well as its recent founding membership in The Global Business Collaboration for Better Workplace Mental Health. This is the first global business-led initiative of its type to influence and advocate for good workplace reform.
WPP has organized a series of ‘safe room’ conversations and panel sessions for its worldwide network to come together, share personal stories, and explore methods to support each other with real action, including monthly wellness check-ins, in reaction to events over the previous year. In addition, WPP and its agencies hosted a complete calendar of events, wellness webinars, and mindfulness workshops throughout May to boost mental health awareness.
“Over the last year, we’ve all realized how important it is, to be honest with one another about how we’re feeling and how we’re dealing with the issues we encounter. Taking care of our mental health should be a top concern for all of us”, WPP CEO Mark Read stated,
“At WPP, we aim to make mental health talks an everyday part of what we do so that anybody who needs support may feel comfortable asking for it,” Read explained.