As the largest employer in Australia with more than 200,000 team members, Woolworths Group identified mental health as one of the key safety issues they would like to focus on. They wanted a campaign to increase the confidence and courage of their team members to be able to help someone who is not feeling okay. Team mates are mostly likely to notice a behavioural difference in one another, but often feel like a personal enquiry in the workplace is intrusive.
We developed a community-led initiative using real stories of Woolworths team members who had struggled with their own mental health. These raw, unfiltered experiences were shared as videos and written stories. The key message, across all these stories, was that help can come from anywhere: ‘I am here’ – three little words that can make a big difference. Training was also delivered through a 20-minute online training module, and course completers were sent a lapel pin to identify themselves as someone who is available to help.
The feedback for I am here has been overwhelmingly positive, and we have showed how simple and beneficial a bit of support can be. The program’s effectiveness is still being tracked, but to date, the initial response and results have been extremely encouraging. In the first 24 hours, 1,000 people had completed the course, and as of late June 2019, we had more than 21,000 and counting. As at May 2019, 38% of those completing the course had also registered their interest for further mental health training – a fantastic achievement for Woolworths’ team members and the company more broadly.
“In less than 6 months, more than 21,000 team members have completed the course.”