20 May 2019
One of the UK’s leading independent logistics firms has thrown its weight behind a campaign calling for greater resources to deal with the impact of mental ill health in the workplace.
Simarco Worldwide Logistics has signed up to the 'Where's Your Head At?' manifesto which wants industry and politicians to ensure that those experiencing mental health problems are given the same support as those with physical difficulties.
The announcement coincides with the second anniversary of the company's decision to make counselling available to staff with a range of mental, physical, personal and financial issues around the clock.
Managing Director, Trevor Scott, added that Simarco was also in the process of putting in place a network of specially trained staff across the business to identify and help colleagues with mental health issues. "For some time now, we have recognised the importance of mental and physical well-being in the workplace and its contribution not only to productivity but the individual health of those who work with us.
"Having received such a positive response to our offer of confidential counselling, we believed that it was a natural, complementary step to develop an in-house contingent of staff specifically capable of identifying and acting on the first signs of mental health.
"Furthermore, we share the conviction of those behind the 'Where's Your Head At?' campaign that there should be no distinction between mental and physical health either from a practical or legislative point of view and are only too happy to give that initiative our backing.
"Whilst having a week dedicated to raising awareness of how best to address and improve support for those with mental health problems is very much worthwhile, the issues do not only manifest themselves for a few days and so it's vital for us as a business to do our bit to help throughout the whole year."
Mr Scott explained that the Employee Assistance Programme offering counselling to Simarco staff was launched in May 2017.
Every one of the firm's 330 employees has been supplied with contact details for the service, which offers advice on a diverse range of issues, including mental health, divorce, debt, gambling and childcare.
Mr Scott said that plans to improve provision had let to Simarco working with Mental Health First Aid to train staff across the business on how to spot colleagues experiencing difficulties and guide them to further appropriate support.
According to those behind the 'Where's Your Head At?' campaign, mental ill health costs UK employers as much as £42 billion, with more than 300,000 leaving the country's working population each year due to such issues.
As well as trying to ensure staff health and contentment, Mr Scott outlined how Simarco was striving to keep its workforce connected.
"Just over one-third of our staff are employed either as drivers or in our various warehouses and, therefore, don't necessarily have ready, regular access to computers"
"We need to make sure that they don't miss out on company developments and so we have established an intranet system which they can access from their smartphones to read details about things such as new services, company policies and ventures such as our work on mental health."
In February, Simarco revealed that it had secured a 10-year extension of the lease on its headquarters at Witham, Essex.
The firm also saw its turnover rise by 20 per cent over the course of the last financial year, rising to more than £57 million.