The City Mental Health Alliance, a community of businesses that aims to create mentally healthy organisations, has launched a toolkit to help firms support the mental health of staff from Black or minority ethnic backgrounds.
Poppy Jaman, CEO of the alliance (CMHA), said BAME employees are likely to have been affected by “triggering” conversations following the death of George Floyd in the United States and the disproportional impact that Covid-19 has had on people from minority ethnic communities.
“It’s unsurprising that a growing body of research tells us that these communities are living with a higher incidence of poor mental health,” she said.
The toolkit, which draws on the knowledge of experts and what leading organisations have experienced, encourages employers to take four strategic actions:
- Challenge all forms of racism at work, which has a significant impact on staff wellbeing, and become actively anti-racist
- Build mental health support that is inclusive and representative of all communities
- Allocate board level responsibility for changing workplace culture, and
- Measure progress by collecting data on what does and does not work.
It includes practical suggestions for achieving all four steps, as well as examples of successful initiatives including Lloyd’s Banking Group’s Race Action Plan and PwC’s mental health awareness campaign.
“Over the last six months, we have seen an outpouring of support and commitment to action from the business world to address racial disparity. Our hope is that this toolkit will help organisations to build on this commitment, take action and better protect, support and create positive mental health of employees who are Black or from a minority ethnic background,” said Jaman.
Beth Robotham executive director at Goldman Sachs and deputy chair of CMHA said: “People might hesitate to explore race, ethnicity and mental health through fear of making a mistake or feeling intimidated by the scale of the work needed. But we cannot let this stand in our way.
“Much like the journey that many business leaders have been on together to talk more openly about our mental health, commitment and bravery is again needed to make progress through education, collaboration and action.”