Mumbai: Procter & Gamble announced that it has set up a task force of certified mental health first aiders to strengthen its mental health support system. P&G’s mental health first aiders are P&G employees from different workgroups who are trained and certified by Mental Health First Aid India to provide support and assist a person experiencing mental health issues and guide them towards professional help. They will act as the first line of response and are equipped to identify signs and symptoms of emotional distress and initiate a supportive conversation with a person, guide them towards available resources or encourage them to seek professional support. The task force of first aiders will also help in raising awareness and fostering an open environment for people to interact and engage. Currently, the company has at least one mental health first aider for each workgroup and the company is already planning to train more people within the organization to become mental first aiders, who will be certified in subsequent batches.
P M Srinivas, Head – Human Resources, P&G Indian sub-continent said, “In the new normal, we realize that the employers play a pivotal role in an individual’s health and well-being needs, now more than ever. We are building mental health as an important aspect of our overall employee well-being program. We want to create an open and supportive environment at P&G where our employees can freely talk about mental health and seek support. Getting our first batch of certified mental health first aiders is a step in that direction. By embedding a support system of mental health first aiders at the workplace, we are confident that we will be able to increase awareness and extend care & support to our people.”
The pandemic-related disruptions have had a significant impact on the mental health of people across the world. Studies indicate that factors like isolation, increasing health concerns, and uncertainty of the future have exacerbated stress and anxiety in people. P&G has expanded its mental health program ‘Happy Minds’ to focus on raising awareness, identifying signs and symptoms of distress, and providing holistic support to its people. As a part of the ‘Happy Minds’ program, the company has been hosting monthly webinars with experts to increase the general understanding of mental health and break stigmas.
The company also continues to offer an employee assistance program and a 24×7 helpline for employees and their family members seeking assistance on mental wellbeing or any stress and anxiety-related issues. In addition to this, the company is also inviting experts to support employees on topics that they are most concerned or stressed about like physical health, nutrition, financial management, parenting during the pandemic, and relationships. P&G is also empowering its employees to personalize their schedules by offering location and time flexibility. This is helping support their personal needs like child care or caregiving and growing careers in the new normal.