“The introduction of Mental Health First Aiders has led to a cultural revolution across Thames Water."

Started offering training

Staff trained so far

As part of its ‘Time to Talk Mental Health’ strategy and with a continued focus on supporting health and wellbeing at work, following a pilot, Thames Water introduced Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England training across its organisation. The results speak for themselves, with this new strategic approach resulting in a 75% reduction in work-related stress, anxiety and depression over the last five years.

At Thames Water mental health is considered just as important as physical health, if not more so. The organisation experiences more occupational health referrals for stress, anxiety and depression than for physical illnesses. It also has recorded five times as many MHFA interventions compared to physical first aid interventions.

With 350 employees now trained across the organisation, MHFA is an integral part of the organisation’s overall strategy. Mental Health First Aiders are clearly identified with a stand-out green lanyard, representing the cultural change that's taken place, with employees viewing it as a badge of honour by those wearing it - that they care about mental health and are here to talk.

In addition, over 250 employees have openly joined the mental health online engagement forum, posting stories, hint and tips on how to manage their mental health in a positive way. Thanks to its holistic approach, Thames Water is leading the way in the utilities sector when it comes to dealing with mental health as an important workplace issue.

Karl Simons, Chief Health, Safety & Security Officer, commented:

“The introduction of Mental Health First Aiders has led to a cultural revolution across Thames Water Mental Health First Aiders are a catalyst for engagement, providing our employees with the confidence to come forward and seek support at their time of need.”