Mental health a hot topic at Unity Water Safety Forum

Mental health a hot topic at Unity Water Safety Forum


Left to Right: Andre Jooste (Safety and Environment Operations Manager), Glen James (SHEQ Contractor Coordinator), Ben Thomas (National HSE Manager), Brendan Matheson (Site Services Manager), Tim Creamer (Operations Manager)

At Sodexo, we are serious about improving Quality of Life for everyone we work with and serve. Sodexo’s I Hear You mental health initiative is part of Sodexo’s commitment to improve Quality of Life and the goal of a zero harm workplace, placing mental health and wellness with equal importance to physical safety.

Unity Water recently began holding a monthly contractor safety forum, inviting all service providers together to discuss all things safety related. Last week, Sodexo National HSE Manager, Ben Thomas conducted an open discussion on mental health in the workplace, sharing industry best practice and Sodexo’s I Hear You journey since 2014.

Sodexo recently introduced a new online learning program called All of Me as part of its integrated approach to manage workplace mental health. The program is delivered to all employees online and through Smart devices as a way to provide 24/7 accessible support and training. By encouraging early help-seeking and workforce education, Sodexo aims to further mental health literacy and improve mental health in the workplace. The program conducts training and self-assessments through animated scenarios, helping users to understand common mental health issues and build upon their own coping strategies.

This move to implement a program that is proactive in educating people comes as part of our continuing dedication to improve safety and wellbeing in the workplace. No one is immune to the impact of mental illness, but knowledge and meaningful support are vital tools in times of need. Increasing our understanding of mental health will diminish stigma and create positive change throughout the organisation. – Ben Thomas, National HSE Manager

The mental health presentation was very well received and triggered an excellent discussion amongst the Unity Water contractors present, with stakeholders from many different companies and industries sharing personal stories of their own. Unity Water Management has thanked Ben and Sodexo for the contribution made, adding that this is exactly the positive discussion they were hoping to drive through this forum.