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This Can Happen AEB member Lucie Cave talks about a pioneering workplace manifesto

Bauer Media Group has launched Where’s Your Head At? A manifesto calling for a working world where mental health is supported and where wellbeing is at the heart of everything a business does.

The ‘Where’s Your Head At?’ Workplace Manifesto

The manifesto was launched in June 2019 as part of Mental Health Awareness Week. It is a mission statement calling for a healthier working world - a world where people’s mental health is protected and where staff wellbeing is a priority for business leaders and managers.

The company is calling on all employers to sign the manifesto in support of the workplace wellbeing agenda, and encouraging organisations to follow up by taking concrete action to create a workplace where mental and physical health are treated equally. 

Bauer’s Lucie Cave is a member of This Can Happen’s Advisory Editorial Board and she spoke to us about the groundbreaking manifesto and what she hopes it will achieve.

Q. Your commitment to workplace wellbeing is exemplary as a business. Where did these positive actions come from?
A. At Bauer Media UK, we have always had the wellbeing and happiness of our employees as central to our culture and values. The focus has increased over the last few years due to the need for more openness and dialogue from a workplace point of view as well as our audience’s. We started running Thrive - a well-being program across the company last year as well as Belonging at Bauer – our commitment to delivering greater inclusivity and diversity of our workforce and in our products.

Our commitment to supporting the mental health of our audiences and our people with Where’s Your Head At? was born of these actions coupled with a passion to make real change. We wanted to take positive action as we know our audiences are not passive - they take action, they want to be involved and drive initiatives for good.

Q. ‘Where’s Your Head At?’ is a unique campaign. Can you tell me a bit about it?
A. This was the brainchild of myself and Mental Health campaigner Natasha Devon MBE. We decided to join forces to do something in the Mental Health sphere and after speaking to Mental Health First Aid England we realised there was a huge (and frankly ridiculous) disparity between the way physical health and mental health are treated in the workplace. So we combined the might of Bauer brands - including Heat, Grazia, KISS and Magic Radio - with the knowledge of MHFA England to create a campaign to encourage the government to make it a legal requirement to train Mental Health First Aiders in workplaces. Our petition attracted over 200k signatures and it is starting to be debated in parliament. Our manifesto takes this commitment even further, encouraging all businesses to sign up and pledge to give mental and physical health equal treatment at work. 

Q. The manifesto is a mission statement calling for a healthier working world. What actions would you hope to see as a result of companies adopting it?
A. As a minimum, we want to see companies ensuring they have Mental Health First Aiders in their business, and if they already have them then we would like to see an increase in numbers. Before we started the campaign Bauer had 7 and now we have opened it up to everyone in the business and have over 28 really passionate Mental Health activists. The manifesto offers solutions for improving and supporting Mental Health and wellbeing, but one of the most valuable tools is to look at what other businesses are doing and how they are leading the way (which is why This Can Happen is such a brilliant event!)

Q. For mental and physical health to be treated equally in workplaces, everyone has to be on board. How can we make this happen?
A. It needs to start from the top and be fed into the daily conversation across the whole company. Leaders must be open about their own Mental Health, talking openly about times in their life when they needed support. It has to start from within. The saying ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’ is so true! Self-care must be part of how the whole team operates - even if it’s as small as taking a break for a walk, going to yoga at lunchtime, or not emailing late at night. These things show employees that their leaders care about work/life balance. They also need to know their teams inside out and have quality conversations that ensure that if something is wrong, it’s spotted and can be acted upon.

Q. Is the media sector ahead of the game when it comes to mental health or are other industries keeping up?
A. I think that while areas of media have done some great work around Mental Health awareness - sometimes it’s more outward facing than inward and more needs to be done within companies. But there are pockets of creative places doing amazing stuff. Channel 5/Viacom and 7 Stars have been founding supporters of our campaign and are doing amazing work in the Mental Health space for their workforce and in their products.

Q. What do you hope to achieve by being part of the Advisory Editorial Board for This Can Happen 2019?
A. I am so excited about being able to share the editorial knowledge I have of audiences, celebrities and their experience of Mental Health along with helping create and shape a diverse mix of initiatives for the event. There are loads of businesses and people doing great work so this is about shining a spotlight on them so others can learn from their success (and mistakes!)

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This Can Happen was a game changer for me. I left feeling inspired and energised, armed with practical advice and best-in-class case studies about how to create mentally healthy workplaces.

Nick Jemetta, Chair – Mental Health & Wellbeing Group, Sainsburys