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Case study: Mental Health Allies

We are committed to a culture of "Belonging" at XPS, and that means valuing and respecting our differences, and being there for each other. Our Mental Health Allies help us to do that, a growing group of XPS colleagues who have volunteered to be there to listen to and support others.

All Mental Health Allies at XPS attend training run by Mental Health at Work, where they learn about what aids good mental health in the workplace, how to listen and ask the right questions, and how to effectively signpost people to the right onward support. XPS shares Mental Health at Work’s aim to create workplaces which are inclusive, where stigma is challenged and people feel supported.

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There’s no doubt that work and mental health are very closely connected, and Allies are just one way that we help colleagues at XPS to access support when they need it.

Being an Ally is a very rewarding experience. It can be hard; you never know what people might share with you. But you get to practice compassion, empathy, and patience. And there’s no better feeling than when someone has talked themselves out and thanks you for being there for them and listening in that moment.

To find out more about careers at XPS, click here.

Spotlight on one of our Mental Health Allies

Stu Williams, a Senior Project Analyst who works from home, wanted to become an Ally to help others, having experienced depression after a bereavement, and then again early in the pandemic.

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During the pandemic I was classed as highly vulnerable. I was living in a small flat and not able to go out and do any of the social activities I loved. I felt like my life had stopped. My work suffered, I wasn’t performing at the levels I usually expect from myself, I couldn’t keep my head in it.

I ended up having three months off work. I missed being face to face with people, having someone to talk to. It was a lonely place.

I realised I had to press the reset button and concentrate on what made me happy. I also took a leap and applied for the role at XPS, which felt like something I would enjoy more. I also changed my mentality towards home working and adapted to not being in a busy office environment.

I am now in the position where I can be there to support any colleague needing to reach out. I believe we all need someone to listen to us at some point and being an Ally helps me do that.

Stu Williams