Following on from its 2006 ‘Positive mentality’ Work Fit campaign and as part of it’s health, safety and wellbeing strategy, BT has a three-tiered mental health framework.
The first level of this is enabling employees to look after their own mental wellbeing at work; for example, through tips on the intranet, and also by enabling a positive working environment such as by providing management training around softer skills.
The second level means that employees who are feeling stressed can use a self-assessment tool to evaluate their mental wellbeing, and this is discussed with a line manager and suggestions made for both parties as to how they can ameliorate the situation.
In the third level, where an employee has experienced mental distress, they work with their line manager to establish a plan of how they can be supported if they’re showing signs of distress. This can enable swift action if someone is becoming distressed at work.
Over the last five years, BT has seen this approach as strategically effective. In one business line where a more specific mental health policy was implemented sick leave for stress and anxiety has fallen by 24 per cent.