Ahead of World Mental Health Day 2020, bp chief executive Bernard Looney wrote to staff, saying: “I urge you to check on your colleagues and seek help if you need it – please let someone know if you are feeling unwell. Whether that be your friends, your family or your colleagues, share your struggles with those who care deeply about you and want to help. And please remember there is professional support available to all of us as well.”
bp staff have free access to Headspace, an app that has millions of users across the globe. “This is an evidence-based mindfulness and meditation app,” explains James Mackie, bp’s director of mental health. “It can help people with personal stress management and mental wellbeing.”
Other support services including podcasts, written materials and ‘health moments’ – where colleagues can share their experiences – are available on the mental health section of bp’s intranet.
In addition to these resources, bp has an employee assistance programme.
The EAP offers a variety of support services including a 24/7 confidential counselling service, a life management service (which provides information on many aspects of day-to-day living including relationships, childcare, legal and financial matters), coaching for managers and workplace educational sessions.
"Our employee assistance programme is free, confidential and independent.
"We all need help from time to time. There is no shame in using counselling services. I have personally found it very useful."
“EAPs are often thought of as services that you only reach out to when you are in crisis,” says Mackie. “This is incorrect. Employees can approach the service with all sorts of issues. When you contact the EAP, you will speak to a counsellor who will encourage you to share details of the issue you are dealing with. They will then discuss and agree with you the best course of action. I would emphasise that no information that could be used to identify you is provided back to bp – your engagement with the EAP is completely confidential and can be anonymous, too, if you prefer.”
2020 has been a year of unprecedented uncertainty and emotional stress for many people in the world and COVID-19 has amplified the normal day-to-day challenges many face.
“This year, those stresses have been turbo-charged by the coronavirus pandemic,” says Bernard. “That’s why bp made one of its largest-ever donations to mental health charity Mind back in April and continues to support employees through a package of mental health resources.”
To mark World Mental Health Day 2020, bp colleagues from across the globe have shared their stories in a video entitled ‘This is me.’
The film shines a light on the struggles that colleagues have experienced, including amid COVID-19, and the importance of asking for help, reminding viewers that showing vulnerability is not a weakness.
You can watch the video at Reimaging energy, bp’s online magazine.
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To mark World Mental Health Day 2020 on 10 October, bp colleagues from around the world have shared their stories in a video entitled This is me