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NORTHERN POWERGRID SUPPORTS MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK

MentalHealthAwarenessWeek2020.PNG.jpgNorthern Powergrid, the company responsible for the electricity distribution network that is powering homes, hospitals and supermarkets across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire during the pandemic, is showing its support for Mental Health Awareness Week.

The network company recognises the importance of positive mental health and wellbeing amongst its workforce, particularly in the current climate.  In addition to keeping its people fully informed since the start of the pandemic about how it’s keeping its teams safe, healthy and productive, the network company successfully introduced Wellbeing Wednesday to support colleagues.

Led by some of the company’s own mental health first aiders, the Wellbeing Wednesday team has shared a range of top tips and advice aimed at helping their fellow colleagues - and their families -positively navigate through the pandemic.

Each week the team has tackled a range of subjects from managing motivational pressure on social media and powering your mind through healthy eating to managing pandemic media overload and how to sleep well, work remotely and adapt to change.

In addition to raising awareness about the importance of mental health, the company has also been regularly reminding colleagues that it has more than 60 Mental Health First Aiders who are trained and ready to confidentially support and be there for any colleague who want someone to talk to.

Northern Powergrid has also been proactively promoting its employees assistance programme which enables its colleagues to access free counselling and relationships, finance and legal advice.

With this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week focusing on the importance of kindness, the network operator has already been sharing how being kind can be rewarding for both those giving and receiving it.  With more than 1,800 hours of volunteer time donated during the pandemic, its apprentices have seen first-hand how positive helping others can be as they worked with charities to deliver shopping to vulnerable customers across the region.  In addition this week, Northern Powergrid will be sharing tips with its people on how to be kind to yourself as well as others and showcasing some of the support available via the Mental Health Foundation as well as raising funds for the charity.   

Neil Applebee, Northern Powergrid’s director of people and customer service, said: “Throughout the pandemic we’ve worked hard to keep our people informed and shared advice aimed at helping them positively manage the changes in their work and personal lives. Getting some of our mental health first aiders involved has helped us demonstrate the important role they play in supporting our people who are working hard to power our customers’ lives during the pandemic.”

Simon Keightley, Northern Powergrid’s safety manager and a mental health first aider, said: “We wanted to bring together our focus on mental health and wellbeing by creating a point in our working week where we can reflect on the challenges we’re all facing and offer support. It is great that the company is supporting our people through Wellbeing Wednesday.”

Jennifer Brown, a Northern Powergrid business analyst and mental health first aider, added: “I’m really enjoying working with some fellow first aiders to increase our focus on mental health and wellbeing.  We’ve had some positive feedback from colleagues and being part of Mental Health Awareness Week will help us keep these important mental health and wellbeing messages at the forefront of our peoples’ minds.”

Northern Powergrid also supports customers who may have a mental health illness that could make them more vulnerable in a power cut through its free Priority Services Register. Customers can find out more about joining by visiting northernpowergrid.com/cares or calling 0800 169 2296.

The network operator, which is carrying out works and repairs to keep its network safe and reliable for customers, is reminding people that they should only approach its teams in an emergency – and always maintain social distancing. Anyone needing support can contact Northern Powergrid 24/7 on social media (Facebook or Twitter @NorthPowergrid) or by calling 105.  Its website also provides information and advice to support customers if they need to report a power cut.

To find out more about how Northern Powergrid and how its people are powering the region during the pandemic visit northernpowergrid.com/coronavirus or follow the network operator on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.