Companies in the travel trade industry are participating in a variety of initiatives for Mental Health Awareness Week this week.

Mental Health Awareness Week, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation charity and supported by other charities across the country, aims to raise awareness of mental health as well as inspire action to promote good mental health for all.

Hays Travel has signed the Time to Change pledge, joining over 900 employers in England who are working to end mental health discrimination.

The pledge allows firms to show a commitment to changing how its employees think, act and talk about mental health as well as ensuring that employees facing such problems feel supported within the business.

Hays Travel head of human resources Helen Liddle said: “Our employees’ health and wellbeing is extremely important to us which is why we are committed to providing an environment that promotes good health.

“We will continue to invest time and resources into raising awareness and providing the best possible support for our employees. This pledge is the first step to demonstrate our commitment and I am very proud to be part of such an important campaign.”

British Airways has also signed up to the Time to Change pledge. As part of the campaign, mental health ambassador and TV fashion stylist Gok Wan shared how he overcame his mental health struggles and urged others to talk more about how they’re feeling

Wan joined BA’s chief operating officer Klaus Goersch when he signed the pledge this morning at Heathrow Terminal 5. Goersch said: “With one in four British workers living with a mental health condition, it is important that we do all we can to help and support those who need it.

“By signing this pledge we have committed to an action plan which we’ve already started to implement, and I look forward to this continuing throughout our centenary year.”

British Airways has some 130 wellbeing and inclusion advisers within the business and they will continue to increase mental health awareness within the business and through working with leading charity organisations.

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Meanwhile, Global Travel Group has begun a series of activities for members and staff from Monday to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week.

They will be encouraged to spend 30 minutes a day participating in #empowerhalfhour.

This includes setting up a walking meeting, inviting someone they may not know well out for lunch or a coffee, a team quiz, exploring mediation or sharing plans for the weekend with colleagues.

Global commercial director Cherie Richards undertook mental health training as part of a two-day course set by the Mental Health First Aid England last month.

She said: “We are at the start of our journey to implement a wider initiative to arm our staff with not only tools to support their mental wellbeing but to train the wider teams to spot mental health issues.

“This is such an important part of employee wellbeing, it is no longer just about providing tea and coffee and a great working environment but focusing on ensuring staff are in peak condition.

“With Mental Health Awareness Week, we wanted to be sure we were not only arming our staff with tools to help boost mental wellbeing but ensure our agents can also get involved with the #empowerhalfhour initiative.”

Travel Weekly launched its mental health campaign, Mental Health Matters at a special Travel Weekly’s Business Breakfast last week, alongside its new-look design and other initiatives including a £100K Pitch investment competition and a Future of Travel Selling conference.

Mental Health Matters will aim to address the issues associated with mental health in the workplace in the travel industry.

Are you raising awareness of mental health and wellbeing in your travel industry workplace? Email natalie.marsh@travelweekly.co.uk with details.

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