Central England Co-op makes ‘big brew’ for mental health awareness

‘The health and wellbeing of all of our colleagues is of the utmost importance to us’

Central England Co-operative is trying to help reduce the stigma around mental health by urging over 8,000 colleagues to find the time to have a brew and lift someone’s spirits.

The ‘Big Brew’ takes place during Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19 May) across the co-op’s business support centre, food stores, funeral homes and travel shops.

To support the campaign, every colleague will receive a teabag to help them take part, and a pack offering advice on how to get support if they need it.

This comes as part of ongoing work by Central England to tackle the issue of mental health as part of a long-term commitment aimed at raising awareness about mental health problems.

Kellee Torr, head of human resources at the society, said: “We are proud, once again, to support Mental Health Awareness Week as the health and wellbeing of all of our colleagues is of the utmost importance to us.

“This year, we have given all of our colleagues a Fairtrade teabag as part of our Big Brew and are encouraging them to show their support in the time it takes to boil a kettle. The smallest act of kindness, like the offer of a cup of tea and the sparing of a little time, can be all it takes to lift someone’s spirits.

“We hope everyone will support our Big Brew and help end the stigma around mental health.”

The society showed its long-term commitment to raising awareness about mental health problems by signing the Time to Change Employer Pledge in 2017.

Since then it has launched several initiatives offering support to those who are battling mental health issues, including mental health first aid training and the creation of mental health champions; sessions on mindfulness and dementia awareness; and launching a colleague assistance programme with a confidential telephone helpline that’s available 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

Ms Torr added: “We are now more focused than ever on providing support for those who need it and working hard to end the discrimination and stigma associated with mental health.”