Port Agency specialist GAC UK has named Mind and SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) as its designated charities for 2020. Its choice of organisations which promote mental health awareness and offer support for those with problems comes after GAC UK launched its own inter-company Mental Health Matters campaign in 2019.
Every year, one in four people in the UK experience a mental health problem. Mind and SAMH provide vital advice and support, whilst campaigning to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding, in England, Wales and Scotland. Staff were asked to nominate charities that GAC UK would support in 2020, and Mind and SAMH came out on top of the vote.
GAC UK’s campaign, launched during Mental Health Awareness Week in May 2019, highlights the importance of a corporate culture in which mental health problems are recognised and can be discussed openly. Staff can access information focusing on ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing’ and can discuss issues in a safe environment on an internal forum. Further, selected staff members underwent formal Mental Health First Aid training and more staff will carry out this training in 2020. The initiative earned the company the top prize in the GAC Group’s Chairman’s Awards for HSSE Excellence for 2019.
“The work of Mind and SAMH is very important,” said GAC UK’s Managing Director, Herman Jorgensen. “A healthy society and company means recognising the importance of the welfare of its people – both physical and mental – and ensuring that help is available when needed. Stress and depression are among the top reasons workers take time off work sick, so it makes sense that our Health & Safety policies should focus on this as well as safety and physical health.”
By making Mind and SAMH its designated charities, GAC UK has made a commitment to support their work by raising awareness and funds. Financial support will come in the form of a £12,000 donation to Mind and £9,000 to SAMH for the year and the company’s 23 local offices nationwide will also be encouraged to make them the beneficiaries of any team charity events they stage.
Emma Ihsan, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Mind, said: “We are incredibly grateful that the employees at GAC have chosen to make Mind their charity partner for 2020. The money raised will help fund Mind’s vital services, like the Infoline which provides confidential information and advice, and Elefriends, our online peer-support network. These services help ensure that all of us with a mental health problem get the support and respect we deserve.”
Fiona Lewis, SAMH’s Corporate Partnerships Manager, said: “We are really proud to be GAC UK’s charity partner! Thank you so much to the staff for choosing to support SAMH and Mind and the mental health cause, it means a lot. Poor mental health can have the most profound impact on our relationships, our work, our school life, our wellbeing and quality of life. You might be someone who has had direct experience of mental health issues in the past or who is facing them right now. Together, SAMH, Mind and GAC are going to do something really special – something life-changing for people across the UK. Thank you!”