With mental health becoming a front-and-center workplace issue over the past year, given the stresses of the pandemic, WPP is expanding its mental-health services to employees with a new program called Mental Health Allies.
The initiative was originally developed at MediaCom in the UK and led by Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Nancy Lengthorn.
The program is now being expanded to MediaCom’s 8,000 employees globally, as well as all WPP staffers in the UK. A pilot will also run in the U.S., before being expanded to other markets.
In the UK initiative, 250 employees were trained by an outside firm called Mental Health At Work to serve as an added resource for colleagues. With the training, those “allies” are better equipped to notice changes in workmates, encourage open dialog and signpost for support if needed.
“Something we’ve all learned over the last year is the importance of being open with one another about how we’re feeling, and how we’re coping with the challenges we face,” stated WPP CEO Mark Read. “Looking after our mental health should be a priority for everyone.”