Dunelm becomes 2,500th org to sign the Mental Health at Work Commitment

We’re celebrating the 2,500th organisation to sign up to the Mental Health at Work Commitment – homeware retailer Dunelm!

Designed for organisations of all sizes from all sectors, the Mental Health at Work Commitment is a simple framework to help organisations move towards a culture of welling. It uses up-to-date research, and pulls from existing pledges and standards – so it’s the only roadmap organisations need to follow to achieve better mental health at work.

There are more than five million employees at the organisations which have signed up to the Commitment.

We want our colleagues to bring their whole self to work every day

Josie Dickinson, Senior Belonging and Engagement Manager at Dunelm, said the firm really does care about how their colleagues are feeling. “We are a family, we want our colleagues to bring their whole self to work every day as that ultimately makes us much stronger,” she says. “It’s no longer OK to expect colleagues to leave their problems at the back door. That doesn’t help anyone.

“One of the most important things about looking after people’s mental wellbeing is around leadership because I think by putting this commitment in, it shows that our leaders are taking this really seriously.”

Two women work at a computer

She adds that a lot of the work being done at Dunelm is around education. “We really, really try and educate people on what is available internally and externally to support them. We have implemented Wellbeing Buddies across all sites,” she explains. “They’re like walking talking sign posters!

“We’ve trained all our Regional coaches, Store coaches and currently training our Deputy coaches, as mental health first aiders​Being a Mental Health First Aider: your guide to the role PDF A workplace Mental Health First Aider can play a key part in supporting colleagues. This document is for new Mental Health First Aiders and outlines what to expect from this role.Free By: Mental Health First Aid England View resource to help give them knowledge and confidence to support their colleagues wellbeing. By the end of this year we will have over 450 colleagues trained and have plans to continue this over the coming years.”

Each standard provides ideas to get you thinking and tools to get you started

The Mental Health at Work Commitment is underpinned by six standards which employers are encouraged to meet, enabling businesses of all sizes to prioritise the mental wellbeing of their staff. Each standard provides ideas to get you thinking and tools to get you started—all aiming to make it easier for organisations big and small to implement each standard and drive change.

The six standards are:

  • Prioritise mental health in the workplace by developing and delivering a systematic programme of activity
  • Proactively ensure work design and organisational culture drive positive mental health outcomes
  • Promote an open culture around mental health
  • Increase organisational confidence and capacity
  • Provide mental health tools and support
  • Increase transparency and accountability through internal and external reporting
Two employees chat over a coffee

Sarah Merrington, Head of the Mental Health at Work Programme, said the team are “absolutely delighted” to have reached this important milestone in the campaign with partner Dunelm.

“Good mental health is vitally important in the workplace,” she says. “A 2021/2022 Mind survey of over 41, 927 employees working across 119 employers taking part in Mind’s annual Workplace Wellbeing Index​Mind’s workplace wellbeing index Web page Mind's Workplace Wellbeing Index is a benchmark of best practice and policy. It will highlight what your organisation is doing well, how you compare to others, and how you could improve in your approach to mental health at work.Paid for By: Mind View resource revealed that almost three in five of us (57 per cent) have experienced poor mental health in our current jobs.

“With so many of us needing help and support, it’s really encouraging to see such large numbers of businesses committing to do more to help their staff – but we would like more employers, particularly in the retail and hospitality industries, to step up and join this movement.”

The Commitment isn't just sign and forget

Dunelm has a strong commitment to mental health. It is a national partner with Mind Mind Mind provides advice and support on mental health, and campaigns to improve understanding, across England and Wales. View organisation across England and Wales, and in May 2023, they announced they had raised over £1 million since July 2021 for mental health charities across the UK.

Josie said signing the Commitment was just a part of their ongoing work towards a healthier, happier workplace. “Signing the Commitment shows your colleagues that you really do want to improve and genuinely care about them and their wellbeing,” she says. “The Commitment isn’t just sign and forget, we implement the actions and continue to work on the action plan within it – and that shows our colleagues what we’re going to do to continue to support them.”

A team of four gather to look at a teammate's screen

Has your organisation signed the Mental Health at Work Commitment? Whether you work for a large retailer such as Dunelm or a small workplace, your organisation can improve the wellbeing of its staff by signing the commitment and working towards achieving each of its six standards. They’ll join hundreds of other organisations who have already signed, joining the growing movement for better workplace mental health.

Check out the Standards here.

About this website

Your guide to mental health at work

Whether you work with 10 people, 10,000 people or just yourself, paying attention to mental health in the workplace has never been more important.

Find out more

The Mental Health at Work website will close on 30 June 2024.

If there any of our toolkits, stories and resources that you may want to refer to later, we recommend you download them now.

The Mental Health at Work Commitment, the Interactive Guide and some key supporting content will move to Mind’s website after this date.

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