UK Power Networks rolls out mental health support for field staff

UK Power NetworksElectrical distribution network operator UK Power Networks has rolled out mental health support for its field employees, ahead of Men’s Health Awareness Month in November.

The business, which operates across London, the East and South East, has introduced a series of wellbeing events covering psychological safety, neurodiversity, occupational health advice and mental health, some of which will be delivered by ex-Armed Services speakers.

This is part of its recognition that operational teams, who spend most of their time working alone on the road, fixing underground or overhead cables, can find it more difficult than office-based staff to access support services.

According to UK Power Networks, it introduced the mental health support in order to provide a safe and comfortable environment for employees to learn and share their emotions and experiences through open discussions, while signposting to support services too.

Connie Dickie, employee engagement manager for UK Power Networks, said: “This new initiative is designed to support the whole person and targets colleagues who in the field are at the sharp end of keeping the power flowing for our customers. There are pressures which come with their jobs, not least staying safe around electricity, and we want them to be assured that we care about their welfare.

“The workshops held so far have been well-received and we have more events planned in before the end of the year. These are all face-to-face as while webinars have their place, we feel these sessions work best with everybody there in person for that human touch.”

Pete White, a mental health consultant and armed forces veteran, added: “Having events like these do provide a deliberate interruption to the usual work pattern and a way for employees to ask if something needs to be done to improve things in their lives.”