Bunnings leads the way to safe communication of mental health by signing The Charter

Posted 20th December 2021 in General

Bunnings Group has become the first national retail group to sign the National Communications Charter (The Charter), leading the way for businesses across Australia in driving mentally healthy and thriving workplaces.

Bunnings, Australia and New Zealand's leading retailer of home improvement and lifestyle products, is a major supplier to project builders, commercial tradespeople and the housing industry.

By signing The Charter in October this year, Bunnings Group pledged its support to make mental health and wellbeing an everyday conversation across its more than 50,000 team members to help to reduce stigma, and promote help-seeking behaviour.

The organisation also plans to use The Charter as a guiding framework to assist with the promotion of safe language and supportive mentally healthy workplace practices and policies, which will amplify the important work that Bunnings is doing to ensure staff wellbeing.

Bunnings Group Managing Director, Michael Schneider stated: “We’re really proud to join others across Australia in supporting The Charter and sharing its messages with our team and our community. With COVID-19 disrupting lives, livelihoods and mental wellbeing in such a profound way, there’s never been a more important time to make mental health an everyday conversation. Signing the National Communications Charter shows our commitment in working collaboratively to improve mental health outcomes and suicide prevention.”

Everymnd Director, Dr Jaelea Skehan OAM emphasised the importance of a having corporate organisations, large and small, sign The Charter.

“Mental health and wellbeing, and suicide prevention are important issues right across our communities, so it is important that we create environments for positive action to take, especially within our workplaces.”

“Through thinking about the way they communicate about mental health issues with their team and with the communities they support, Bunnings is opening up the opportunity for more people to seek help early, for more people to feel comfortable in starting conversations with others and creating inclusive and safe environments for all staff and customers.”

“Having the business community join with our health and community services, with governments and with people who have lived experience, is critical in getting the kind of action we need across Australia,” Dr Skehan said.

Bunnings is a member organisation of Corporate Mental Health Alliance Australia (CMHAA) which recently become a signatory of The Charter. Kim Hamrosi, CMHAA Executive Director, advises that “CMHAA supports The Charter’s unified common language approach to talking about mental health in the workplace and hopes to see conversations about mental health increasingly be a normal part of people’s working day.”

Supporting mental wellbeing and reducing the risk of mental illness and suicide, is an all-of-community issue and there is a role to play for every workplace and sector. To learn more about The Charter and how to become a signatory, visit lifeinmind.org.au/the-charter

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