ESS Wellness Commitment Supports Colleague Mental Health

09 May 2022

ESS, the Defence, Energy and Government Services sector of Compass Group UK & Ireland, provides a comprehensive programme to support the mental health of its 7,000+ employees. This forms a key component of the company’s Wellness Commitment which comprises four pillars Healthier Mind, Healthier Body, Healthier Food, Healthier World and is central to its social value agenda.

The initiatives have been designed to reach as many people as possible and currently include:

  • Mental Health First Aiders – ESS worked with Mental Health First Aid England to train 130+ volunteers in 2021, with at least 70 more team members due to complete the course in 2022. Colleagues from frontline to senior leadership have qualified to promote mental wellbeing and encourage open conversations.
  • ilumen™ App – The company offers all employees free subscription membership for ilumen™, a mental wellness application designed to help manage and monitor wellbeing over time. It empowers users to track, measure and improve mental wellness with a simple, three step, science-based process.  
  • Wellness Rooms – ESS sites across the country are creating designated wellness rooms for team members. Comfortable seating, soft lighting, plants and pictures create a calming environment where people can relax away from their busy workday.
  • Healthier Mind Newsletter – This monthly publication for ESS teams supports all aspects of mental wellbeing. Topics covered have included dealing with depression, suicide awareness, work-life balance and financial wellbeing.
  • Healthier Mind Webinar – These monthly sessions are open to colleagues, clients and customers and cover a wide range of factors impacting mental health. Themes have included anxiety, stress, sleep and movement.
  • Mindful Moments Toolbox Talk – Managers are provided with a monthly toolbox talk for discussion with their teams. Subjects have included staying mentally healthy at work, conscious breathing and mindfulness.
  • Wellness Action Plan – All employees have access to this tool which helps to identify what mental and physical wellbeing looks like for them and guides them in implementing practical steps to achieve their goals.
  • Wellness Newsletter – This monthly publication for colleagues, clients and customers includes features linking to company, national and international campaigns relating to Healthier Mind, Healthier Body, Healthier Food and Healthier World.
  • Health MOTs – The company has recently launched a new health check for colleagues, clients and customers. This provides key health measurements to encourage individuals to manage their wellbeing effectively.
  • Partnership with Mental Health UK – ESS recently announced a new strategic partnership with this leading mental health charity which will see it increasing awareness, supporting project activity and undertaking a range of fundraising.

ESS’ focus on colleague mental health is underlined by it signing up to the Mental Health at Work Commitment for employers who want to lead the way and drive change. The company has also achieved the Thrive at Work Foundation Level by demonstrating its activity in a variety of areas that promote employee health and wellbeing.

The company’s nutrition and wellbeing team regularly review the wellbeing programme to ensure the tools being provided remain engaging and effective. This includes an annual wellbeing survey to gain an insight into the impact the activities are having and to identify areas for improvement. This year’s survey has just closed, and the results are being analysed.

Mark Webster, Managing Director – ESS Defence, Energy and Government Services, commented:

“We’re committed to creating an open and supportive culture around mental health across ESS. We’ve worked hard to develop a comprehensive suite of tools that will positively impact as many people as possible, from mental health first aiders, the ilumen™ app and wellness rooms for relaxation to a variety of information sessions and resources. With such a wide range of support available, we hope that everyone will find something to suit them and that our whole workforce will benefit.”

Compass Group UK & Ireland launched YouMatter its dedicated mental health support campaign for colleagues across the business – in 2020. This is alongside its partnership with Hospitality Action, which helps address the stigma around mental health concerns.