// Major retailers come together to launch Wellbeing in Retail for World Mental Health Day
// The big names involved include John Lewis Partnership, Asos, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, the Co-op, M&S and Next
// The Entertainer employees will wear yellow clothing in support of YoungMinds charity
Some of the UK’s biggest retailers have come together to launch Wellbeing in Retail on World Mental Health Day.
In an industry first for the UK, seven retailers under the guidance of charity Samaritans have launched a mental health project for workers in retail.
The project, known as Wellbeing in Retail, is funded by the John Lewis Partnership, Asos, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, the Co-op, Marks & Spencer and Next and aims to target the 2.9 million retail workers in the UK.
A new online training guide will help workers look after their own mental health while giving advice on how they can help others who may be struggling.
Joint research from the John Lewis Partnership, M&S, Co-op and Next revealed that over 50 per cent of the 2000 retail workers questioned weren’t able to recognise the signs of someone needing emotional support.
Research also showed that approximately 25 per cent would not feel confident approaching an upset colleague.
The Wellbeing in Retail website also features practical information activities and resources, all accessible anytime via desktop, phone or tablet.
“It’s so encouraging to see retailers come together like this for the first time in the interest of improving their staff’s mental health,” Samaritans chief executive Ruth Sutherland said.
“Over recent years, we have seen a real step change in the attitudes and behaviours of employers as they actively seek to address how they can improve wellbeing in the workplace and we are proud to be part of making this transition happen.”
John Lewis Partnership chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield said: “Mental health issues can affect us all – and stigmas and barriers that once prevented people talking about the issues are starting to erode,”
“The world of work and retail in particular, is fast paced and constantly changing, and we want employees to feel supported.
“I hope this guide is a stepping stone to creating further conversations on mental health and gives workers the confidence to use it when they may need it.”
Meanwhile, The Entertainer is doing its bit to mark World Mental Health Day by saying #HelloYellow, where employees nationwide are wearing items of yellow clothing in support of YoungMinds.
YoungMinds is a UK charity who champion for young people’s mental health.
The campaign aims to tell children and young people they are not alone with their mental health.
It reported that on average, three children in every classroom has a mental health problem, and many more often struggle to cope with their mental health from time to time.
Earlier this week, online retailer Boohoo launched a collection of t-shirts in partnership with the World Federation for Mental Health charity.
The collection features seven t-shirts in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, pink and purple to each represent how #ColourAffectsYou.