In support of Mental Health Awareness week*, and as part of the business’ ongoing commitment to investing in health and wellbeing, The APC delivery network – the largest independent parcel delivery network in the UK – is launching a series of activities and initiatives to promote positive mental health and raise awareness around the Mental Health Foundation’s official theme of ‘Loneliness’.
As part of the activities, The APC is working with local spoken word artist, Elliott Dexter (known by his performer name, Dexter), who will be performing a piece for the business. The piece, titled ‘Manhood’, explores a number of themes around mental health, isolation and self-discovery, and will invite employees across The APC to understand and talk more openly about some of the challenges that can affect individuals.
Talking about his piece and the importance of mental health awareness, Dexter said:
“Mental Health is something I’ve struggled with myself. A lot of my friends and family have struggled with it in fact. It’s one of those things that touches so many parts of people’s lives and is often talked about, yet it’s not always understood or dealt with properly. I’m so grateful to be able to work with The APC, sharing my piece around the challenges that come with self-discovery, anxiety and isolation, and encouraging others to talk more openly about mental health issues that may be affecting them.”
Dexter was recently introduced to The APC through the business’ work with EPIC – a business mentoring programme for young entrepreneurs. As part of the partnership with EPIC, Jonathan Smith, Chief Executive at The APC took on mentorship of Dexter after he was invited to join the EPIC Young Business Programme in March following the successful presentation of his business concept, ‘Dexter’s Poetry Place’.
Jonathan Smith, said: “As a business we want to promote positive mental health and create an environment of trust where our people feel they can talk openly and honestly with us about their health. We’re truly honoured to have Dexter performing for our colleagues within the business on this important week. His ability to express and share his messages around mental health are testament to his talent and I hope that his performance will encourage others to reflect and have the confidence to speak openly about the issues that may be affecting them.”
In addition to Dexter’s performance, The APC will this week be investing in several other initiatives to promote positive mental health, including; training courses on mental health awareness, and ‘fancy a chat?’ virtual sessions, where senior managers and the business’ Mental Health First Aiders will run sessions for colleagues within the business to talk openly and share stories of issues affecting them.
Commenting on The APC’s investment in mental health, Corina Forman, HR Director, at The APC said: “Mental health is in the news a lot and it isn’t just hype. In the last two years alone the rate of change and uncertainty in the world has created increasing stress and challenges for people across the UK – in and out of the workplace.
As a business, we’ve always understood the importance of creating a working environment that is open and supportive. Health and wellbeing initiatives are important, but they must be built from the foundations of an organisational culture that continuously promotes good mental and physical health at work – we firmly believe that providing a supportive environment improves morale and helps to create a happy, healthy workplace.”
Mental Health Awareness week is an annual event, providing the whole of the UK with an opportunity to focus on achieving good mental health. The Mental Health Foundation started the event 21 years ago. The event has grown to become one of the biggest awareness weeks across the UK and globally.