Heineken has today signed the Time To Change pledge – a public commitment to help end mental health stigma in the workplace.

The UK’s leading cider, beer and pub business will work with Time to Change to promote physical, social and mental wellbeing of its 2,000 employees. The company has pledged to support its people through any illness – be that physical or mental, and has already put training in place to make sure all managers are able to identify and support mental health issues.

The company has also trained 30 ‘mental health champions’ across six sites who can provide mental health first aid and be the first port of call for affected colleagues.

David Forde, MD of Heineken in the UK said:

“We believe strongly in enjoyment of life, which is why we have a wellbeing strategy.  I want everyone who works for Heineken to be safe in the knowledge that whatever they are going through – physically or mentally – as an organisation, we are right behind them.”

Sue Baker OBE, Director of Time to Change, said:

“We know it can be hard to talk about mental health, which is why we’re supporting employers to open up; to talk and to listen. Too many people with mental health problems are made to feel isolated, ashamed and worthless, but with the right support, those of us with mental health problems can recover and have equal opportunities in all areas of life. Everyone’s attitude makes a difference and it’s fantastic to see organisations like Heineken taking the lead.

“Many leading employers have found that making a strategic commitment to the mental wellbeing of their workforce not only benefits their staff but also their bottom-line, improving productivity and staff retention. With one in six British workers experiencing mental illness it’s time for businesses to make a change and start creating more mentally healthy workplaces.”

With physical wellbeing providing a huge bearing on mental health, the company has introduced a number of initiatives such as yoga classes, walking clubs and five-a-side football clubs.

And in June, the company is sponsoring ‘Race to the Tower’ in partnership with Mind – a two day, double marathon event in the Cotswolds to raise awareness and funds for the charity.

Jane Brydon, HR Director of Heineken says:

“A whopping 84% of our colleagues say they love working at HEINEKEN and whilst we’re proud of this statistic we’re always working to see how we can further improve this. We believe in enjoyment of life and investing in our staff to ensure their physical and mental wellbeing, which is why we’ve signed the Time To Change pledge.”

Race To The Tower is taking place between the 9th and 11th June.  Members of the public can find out more and enter at www.racetothetower.com