Procter & Gamble forms task force of certified mental health first aiders at work

These MHFA are trained to recognise and respond to signs and symptoms of distress in an individual or workgroup

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Procter & Gamble India has set up a task force at the workplace comprising certified mental health first aiders (MHFA). These MHFA are employees of P&G belonging to various work groups who have been trained by Mental Health First Aid India.

These certified MHFA provide support and assistance to people who suffer from mental-health issues and help them seek professional guidance and help. They serve as the first line of response and are capable of identifying the signs and symptoms of emotional distress.

On spotting such distress at an early stage, they are able to initiate a timely and supportive conversation with the concerned person, and do the needful in terms of guidance.

This task force will also help raise awareness and create an open environment suitable for people to interact, speak openly and engage.

Presently, there is at least one MHFA for each workgroup and P&G plans to train more internally to expand its team of MHFA.

P M Srinivas, head – human resources, P&G Indian Sub-continent speaks about how the Company realises that “employers play a pivotal role in an individual’s health and well-being needs, now more than ever”.

Therefore, P&G, considers mental health an important aspect of its overall employee well-being programme. “We want to create an open and supportive environment at P&G where our employees can freely talk about mental health and seek support. Getting our first batch of certified mental health first aiders is a step in that direction”, says Srinivas.

With this support system of MHFA in place, Srinivas is “confident that we will be able to increase awareness and extend care & support to our people.”

P&G has expanded its mental health programme, ‘Happy Minds’ to focus on raising awareness, identifying signs and symptoms of distress, and providing holistic support to its people. As part of this programme, the Company has been hosting monthly webinars with experts to increase the general understanding of mental health and break stigmas.

The Company also offers an employee assistance programme and a 24×7 helpline for employees and their family members seeking advice or help on stress and anxiety-related issues.

It invites experts to guide employees on topics such as physical health, nutrition, financial management, parenting during the pandemic, and relationships.

P&G encourages and empowers employees to personalise their schedules by offering them flexibility in terms of location and time. This helps them manage their childcare and care giving commitments.

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