World Mental Health Day

Mental Health Awareness
12 October 2020

This year World Mental Health Day comes at a time when our daily lives have changed considerably as a result of the pandemic. This past year has brought many challenges to peoples mental health, from job security worries, going to work fearful of bringing COVID-19 home with them; for workers whose livelihoods are threatened; for the vast number of people caught in poverty or in fragile humanitarian settings with extremely limited protection from COVID-19; and for people with mental health conditions, many experiencing even greater social isolation than before. And this is to say nothing of managing the grief of losing a loved one, sometimes without being able to say goodbye.

Looking after our people’s mental health at work is more important that ever before since COVID-19. And as work is such a major part of our people’s lives, we know World Mental Health Days is another perfect opportunity to start the conversations regarding mental health.

WMHD is just one day each year.  For Portico, every day is an opportunity to start a conversation about mental health and break down the stigma that often surrounds it. It’s really healthy to know and say how you’re feeling.

We are committed to developing our approach to mental health in the workplace, protecting and improving mental health for our people, whilst supporting those who experience distress. We value mental health and wellbeing as core assets to our business and have dedicated experts on hand when we recognise any problems that can become serious. So here’s an insight into what we do at Portico to push this topic to the forefront of our business;

Our Employee Assistance Programme

The EAP at Portico – our Employee Assistance Programme has been created especially for anyone that is struggling and needs to speak to one of our experts. The level of support is second to none, making the most of their potential and helping our people cope with what life throws at them. This can help them to get back to playing a full part in their relationships, workplace and community.

Mental Health First Aiders

Embedding Mental Health First Aid training into our business encourages our people to talk more freely about mental health, promoting early intervention which enables recovery, reducing stigma and creating a positive culture.

Our qualified Mental Health First Aiders provide a point of contact for anyone in Portico who is experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress. These interactions could range from having an initial conversation through to supporting the individual to get appropriate help in a crisis.

By having qualified First Aiders we are able to spot the signs of mental ill health and use this valuable time to provide early support for anyone who may be developing a mental health issue.

Mental Health Awareness Training

Good mental health at work and good management go hand in hand and there is strong evidence that workplaces with high levels of mental wellbeing are more productive. Addressing wellbeing at work increases productivity by as much as 12%.


We believe that it’s not just about being comfortable enough to talk about the problems, it’s fundamental that our management plays a crucial role in supporting our people that experience distress and/or mental health problems. At Portico, we support the development of compassionate and effective line management relationships – providing opportunities for managers and supervisors to attend mental health awareness training and dedicated courses for mental wellbeing. We ensure that specialist training is matched with our ability to listen compassionately and act appropriately.

Since the majority of this year we have been unable to deliver our training offering face to face, we have been providing our people with the tools to assist with wellbeing and mental health, through webinars, online training sessions and support channels via our Portico Develop sessions and Portico:Connect emails.

Staying Connected with Inner Wellbeing

Our Heartbeat App has many strings to its bow.  A high percentage of our communications with our people focus on ‘Healthy Living with Portico’. Since March we have provided tools surrounding wellbeing and mental health, through podcasts and video tutorials, expert advice and mental health training sessions.  Our Monday Mindfulness has been a real success with wonderful feedback on its positive effects.

Alongside Healthy Living with Portico, our learning and development team have introduced digital training sessions, with a larger focus on the importance around these subjects. Our team also continue to deliver our original mental health focused training programmes including; Managing Pressures at Work, The Importance of a Positive Attitude and Handling Pressures at Home to name a few.