At Lion, the safety and wellbeing of our people and their families is paramount. But it’s about more than just physical health; it’s also ensuring the mental and emotional health and wellbeing of our people. It’s about helping them be the best they can be.

When surveyed about diversity and inclusion, our people nominated mental health as the area they cared about the most. So in response, we developed a new initiative called BestME (Mental and Emotional Wellbeing Framework), which was launched in May 2017 across all Lion sites in Australia and New Zealand. The program complements our Everyone Safe Everyday campaign which focuses primarily on physical safety in the workplace.

The BestME toolkit is available to all Lion employees and offers well-researched techniques and support to build the best possible mental and emotional framework for living and working well.

During the launch, we spent 90 minutes at each site opening up the dialogue around mental health, and introducing the new Best ME Sharepoint site. We also handed out pocket cards with practical information such as tips on having an RUOK conversation, and where to seek help.

To build mental health awareness at a senior level, we ran BestME mental health capability sessions for our leaders to help them have conversations about mental health with their teams and teach them how to model and encourage behaviours that contribute to a mentally healthy workplace. So far, we have run 13 sessions and educated 250 staff members, who found the content relevant and engaging. We also established a workplace giving relationship with Lifeline in Australia and New Zealand, and supported RUOK day and World Mental health day across all Lion sites.

The feedback from the sessions has been positive, showing an increase in knowledge and confidence in understanding and managing mental health issues in the workplace.

BestM.E. is a step forward for Lion, creating an environment we can break down the stigma of mental health and be open and support each other when it comes to physical, mental and emotional health. By offering a non-judgmental playing field we can begin the conversation around positive psychology and mental health in the workplace.

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1 in 2 - the number of people between the age of 18 and 80 who will experience a mental health condition at some point in their life. If it isn’t you, it’s likely the person next to you.