Industry and consumers focus on World Mental Health Day

Rising prices, supply pressures, business transitions and climate change – there is no shortage of pressures facing the energy industry.

Energy UK chief executive Emma Pinchbeck said the industry was facing challenges due to an unprecedented combination of circumstances, affecting both suppliers and consumers.

“We realize, however, that winter will be difficult for many customers. We therefore repeat that assistance is available to customers from their energy supplier and that they should contact them if they are worried about their bills. Energy providers have already provided hundreds of millions of pounds in financial aid since the start of the pandemic. The industry will continue this support this winter, ”she said.

“And while the immediate focus is on the current situation, it shows why we need to continue the transition to low carbon and further reduce our dependence on fossil fuels to eliminate the risk of being exposed to wholesale prices.” international volatile in the future. It also highlights the need to make our homes more energy efficient, which can permanently reduce bills by hundreds of pounds per year. “

Brian Dow, deputy managing director of Rethink Mental Illness and co-chair of the National Suicide Prevention Alliance, said the pandemic has undoubtedly led many people to experience significant levels of emotional distress, some severe. In response, people have been offered unprecedented levels of support.

“Given the long-term repercussions of the pandemic and the increase in risk factors for suicide such as debt, unstable housing or difficulties accessing health care, our goal must be to ensure that we continue to provide this support where it has had a positive effect. That is why reform and investment in health, social services and our benefit system, which provide vital support to so many people, is essential.

Big business is taking a stand.

pb a increased the number and frequency of its ‘mental health awareness training for managers’ and ‘mental health awareness’ sessions, providing line managers with the knowledge, skills and confidence to discuss and process mental health issues within their teams.

In April 2020, he made one of his largest charitable donations to Mind, giving the charity the opportunity to invest in the technology needed to continue to support those facing health challenges from a distance. mental. That same month, Bernard Looney, CEO of bp, and Helge Lund, Chairman of the Board of Directors, chose to donate 20% of their salaries to charities of their choice for mental health for the remainder of the year. .

In 2020, it continued to improve its systematic management of multiple health data points and sources, in order to identify “hot spots” where we can target preventive interventions as well as provide training, support and guidance. resources to improve employee well-being and performance. He also began providing free access to the Headspace meditation app, for employees and their partners, which was downloaded more than 10,000 times a year. last.

Viva Energy and its wholly owned subsidiary Liberty Oil recently announced a new sponsorship with the Healthy Heads in Trucks & Sheds Foundation (HHTS), whose mission is to improve the mental health and well-being of every worker in the industries. road transport, logistics and supply chain. The three-year sponsorship will help the Foundation implement its national mental health and wellness roadmap (the roadmap), to provide a best practice approach to building a psychologically safe industry.

Liberty Oil Australia (Liberty) has around 100 drivers at 22 depots in rural / remote communities, while Viva Energy across Australia engages around 150 tankers at major airports and their supply chain works with a range of transport providers including more than 400 drivers and staff assistance. The HHTS roadmap fits the needs of both companies well.

The primary goal of the Liberty and Viva Energy partnership with HHTS is to provide nationwide access to resources that support the mental health and well-being of the Liberty driver community and Viva Energy terminal communities and indirectly to suppliers.

The EnergyMind site advises:

Put “mental well-being at work” on the leadership agenda

The energy industry is already treating health and safety as a concern at the board level (and rightly so). We believe that mental well-being should be treated with the same priority as physical well-being by all companies in the sector.

Support employers to attract and retain talent within the industry

Well-being at work not only benefits the employee, it also helps employers avoid the costs of stress-related absences, which amount to around £ 5 billion per year in the UK. We therefore strive to help employers create a culture that promotes the mental well-being of their employees, helps them retain valued employees and attract new talent.

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