Michael Kelly Outstanding Student Award - foundation
According to the Mental Health Foundation, 17.6 million days of sick leave were taken because of mental health-related issues in 2015, equating to 12.7 per cent of the total sick days taken across all UK workforces.
To help counteract these figures and to raise awareness, reduce the stigma and provide support for those experiencing mental ill-health, Julia Melvin, HR manager at Ubisoft Reflections and Ubisoft Leamington, launched a campaign aimed at the organisation’s entire workforce.
Melvin, with the full support of senior management, set up Project Brave – a dedicated group populated with team members across both sites and at all levels of the workforce to destigmatise mental ill-health, offer support and promote a refreshed, open culture that was conducive to improved wellbeing.
With the help of Project Brave, Julia developed a three-year wellbeing strategy that focused on safety, awareness, prevention and support. This led to the introduction of initiatives such as mental health first aiders, mental health training for all employees, extensive wellbeing discounts and a repository of resources.
Project Brave has undoubtedly been a success thanks to Melvin’s efforts. In addition to a reduction in mental health-related sickness absences at the firm, her work also contributed to it winning the 2020 Reward and Benefits Association (REBA) award for best new wellbeing strategy (for organisations with fewer than 500 staff), as well as the gold award for achieving excellence in the Mind Workplace Wellbeing Index 2019/20.