Velux launches employee-led mental health counselling


Roof window manufacturing organisation Velux has launched an employee-led mental health counselling service for its 250 UK and Ireland-based employees.

Its Mental Wellbeing Support Team (MWST), which was launched on 26 October 2017, is run by a team of employees on a voluntary basis to provide counselling support to employees who may be experiencing mental health issues or who just want to talk about any challenges they might be facing.

Created and led by Velux’s employees, the MWST has been designed to help support the organisation’s goal of creating a more open culture around mental health in the workplace.

Employees involved in the MWST have undergone specific training with counselling providers Interactions, to learn how they can provide listening and support services to Velux’s staff. The two-day training workshop covered topics such as exploring the definition of mental health and the different types of mental health issues or behaviourial indicators that MWST team members might come across, how to start conversations with those who have mental ill health, and developing observation and listening skills.

The workshop also informed MWST employees on how to handle serious concerns about someone’s mental health, clarified the framework and job description of the team in general, and created a charter or service level agreement to work from.

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Pedro Poole, managing director at Velux, said: “There has never been a more important time to create an environment in which Velux people can succeed, feel valued and supported. Looking after the mental health and wellbeing of staff at work is not only the right thing to do as a responsible employer, but it also makes good business sense, helping to improve productivity and cut down on health-related absence.

“That is why we have decided to lead the way with the creation of our new dedicated team. All the team members have put in a great deal of effort and commitment to the initiative and are passionate about making it a success. Feedback from staff has so far been really positive and we’re confident the service can act as a best practice model.”