Three's response to the need for mental health awareness in the retail and telecommunications sector

07 January 2020 -

DandelionThis UK brand is well-known for their quirky adverts and fun-loving image – but how are they tackling mental health issues behind the scenes?

Alan Millbrow, head of wellbeing & recognition, Three

In 2016, our people director shared her story about her personal mental health issues with her colleagues at Three. This, in turn, led to other senior leaders and people across the business sharing their stories to help break down the stigma of mental health in the workplace. It quickly became obvious that people wanted to know more about how to access the right tools and support available. This led to the creation of our wellbeing strategy, which included Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England’s workplace training.

The impact of the sector

This is a time of fundamental change for the telecommunications and retail industry. With 5G coming soon, we face challenges such as building the technology to support it. We also must ensure that we continue to meet our customer needs. It’s essential that we prioritise the wellbeing of our people and train them with relevant mental health skills, so they can support themselves and others. We take every opportunity to ensure their wellbeing is cared for and that our wellbeing initiatives are supporting their needs.

In 2016, our CEO signed the Time to Change pledge and is fully committed to driving the workplace mental health agenda. Our leaders have shared personal stories to help break down mental health barriers; they want to support our people’s mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. Our triannual employee survey and Employee Forum team tell us how people are feeling. We regularly review the feedback and make changes to our wellbeing programme as appropriate to support people’s needs.

Three’s mental health awareness programme

We try to put the wellbeing of our employees at the heart of everything we do, supporting them both in and outside of work. We use MHFA England’s training to help them be at their best.

Employees have access to our Wellness hub on the Intranet, which has information about the support and tools available. This includes Time to Talk reps, who are mental health first aiders across Three; access to a confidential free helpline through Lifeworks; our financial wellbeing tool Nudge; a digital GP; plus lots more. We also support Mental Health Awareness Week, World Mental Health Day and Stress Awareness Week to help create awareness.

Most of our employees have attended our Being Me Being Three programme, which focuses on people’s whole selves and how to bring their best to work every day. It gives them dedicated time to understand more about themselves, how to stay okay and identify when they might not be. It gives our people valuable tools and techniques, including CBT and mindfulness.

We know that if our people are at their best, we will achieve our ambitions.

To see how you can help your staff feel supported through periods of ill mental health, read the three ways to update your mental health plan or discover the surprising triggers in the workplace.

Image: Dawid Zawila Unsplash

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