Kooth CEO Tim Barker recently signed the The Global Business Collaboration for Better Workplace Mental Health pledge, as a commitment to prioritising mental health awareness and building best practices in the workplace. 

The Global Business Collaboration for Better Workplace Mental Health is the first collaboration of its kind that seeks to advocate for and accelerate the improvement mental health in the workplace. The group’s founding members, which include executives from Unilever, Deloitte, HSBC, BHP, Salesforce and Clifford Chance, are encouraging like-minded business leaders to join them in advancing “the desperately needed conversation around creating an open, welcoming, and supportive workplace environment for all”.  To become members, workplace leaders sign a pledge and commit to taking the following actions within their business:  

  • Develop and deliver an action plan to foster good mental health in the respective organisation;
  • Promote an open culture around mental health that aims to eliminate stigma;
  • Take proactive steps to develop the culture and ways of working towards creating positive mental health and reducing mental ill-health;
  • Empower all employees to manage and prioritise their mental health and support one another;
  • Inform employees of available mental health tools and support they need;
  • Regularly measure the impact of the efforts, being open about our progress, to influence and inspire change in the organisation and beyond.

While Kooth has joined the initiative as a workplace, Kooth also provides access to digital mental health support to millions of users across the UK. The award winning platform is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and provides anonymous data to support the NHS and Public Health England to aid in the evidence-based approach to help further understand the needs of the nation when it comes to mental health.

The signing of this pledge, comes shortly after the launch of Kooth’s Pulse 2021 report which looks at the impact of Covid-19 on the UK’s mental health over the past 12 months. The study of over 192,000 Kooth service users found:

  • 55% increase in reports of being severely or very severely impaired from carrying out work
  • 106% increase in sleeping difficulties for working age adults
  • 40% increase in suicidal or self-harm thoughts nearly every day

Sir Ian Cheshire, Chair of The Global Business Collaboration for Better Workplace Mental Health, commented: “The global pandemic has changed the world as we know it, but as well as the obvious impact on worldwide health, economies and employment, a more insidious force has been at work: the creeping complexities of mental illness. Many people are developing a mental health condition for the first time; while those with a history of mental illness continue to struggle in a world that can be ill-suited to supporting mental health – including in the workplace. Despite some progress in recent years, there’s still a huge amount of stigma around mental health at work. It’s a fact that has no place in our modern world, and we are here to overcome this in the workplace.

Tim Barker, Kooth Chief Executive Officer at Kooth PLC, added: “As we continue to see the lasting impact of COVID on the UK’s mental health, Kooth’s data helps to provide insight into the issues that we are experiencing within the workplace and the wider population. We are committed to providing better evidence-led mental health support to our users and our staff, as such – I’m delighted to sign The Global Business Collaboration for Better Workplace Mental Health leaders pledge.

To find out more about the pledge go to https://betterworkplacemh.com/

The full Kooth Pulse Report is available at koothwork.com/pulse21.