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DHL raises awareness of mental health and driving positive change

DHL raises awareness of mental health and driving positive change

 October 17, 2023

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DHL values workplace wellbeing and as such proudly marked World Mental Health Day

"October 10th is World Mental Health Day, the annual event aimed at raising awareness of the importance of mental health and driving positive change. This year’s theme is of mental health as a universal human right, a stance that we support throughout our business – starting at the top," attested DHL.

“You never know which side of the mental health scale you might find yourself on, but either way you need to speak up. You can’t do it alone. You need to surround yourself with people you trust – not only friends but professionals. If you do feel that you need help, find someone you trust and tell your story in as transparent a way as possible – it really does make a difference. Similarly, if you think a friend or colleague may need help, make the effort to reach out. Show empathy to those around you. You never know what challenges people are facing; it might make a big difference." explained Andries Retief, CEO of DHL Supply Chain’s Southeast Asia cluster within APAC.

DHL is a safe place to work

DHL provides a safe space to work, where mental health is supported, and belonging is a key part of the company culture. DHL provides resources and support to ensure all employees work in a space where they can speak out about their challenges and ensure good mental wellbeing across the business, ensuring everyone can find a place to thrive and belong.

DHL's HR communities around the globe have implemented numerous strategies to support the mental well-being of colleagues around the division. 

For example, managers at DHL Supply Chain Netherlands receive training on recognizing early signs of mental health issues. That way they can intervene before bigger problems arise. This means having conversations with employees to explain how they can be supported, especially if the mental health issues are related to work problems like bullying, harassment, or discrimination. In dealing with such cases, the team utilizes the services of an external company of certified psychologists who can quickly step in with coaching sessions when employees feel the need.

Meanwhile, in Colombia, employees have access to 24/7 psychological assistance that is contracted through specialized medical centers and available to all employees free of charge. 

In New Zealand, a poster campaign called Need to talk? was launched to raise awareness of a similar offering of round-the-clock psychological hotline support for employees in need.

Employees In Unna in Germany were asked for their input on designing the break rooms, to create a relaxing space. The results: break rooms with beautiful décor; vending machines with more variety and healthier choices; and renovation work that was carried out by local tradespersons.

In the UK & Ireland, some DHL sites have created wellbeing rooms so that employees have somewhere quiet and reflective to go when they need to. These are sometimes combined with multi-faith rooms. Also in the UK & Ireland, some employees are trained as Wellbeing Champions. With knowledge of available wellbeing benefits and resources, they become the go-to people for employees having mental health issues. They also receive external training that helps them spot the signs of poor mental health, so they can signpost employees to the right support. One example was an employee who came to a Wellbeing Champion worried about the financial problems that meant he could lose his home, impacting not only himself but his wife and children. The Wellbeing Champion was able to talk to the employee, help him and direct him to financial and emotional wellbeing benefits. The family didn’t lose their home, and now he has a plan to resolve his financial problems with counselling arranged to help him cope with stress and anxiety.

In North America during the pandemic, the North Atlantic DEIB Committee developed the Leadership Wellbeing Series, a series of online seminars on well-being topics. The series proved so popular that it has been expanding to cover topics requested by leaders in post event surveys. Topics have included work/life balance, recognizing and coping with stress, and financial fitness.

Holistic approach to well-being

DHL Global Head of HR, Lindsay Bridges, agrees with the theme of World Mental Health Day 2023 – mental health is a universal human right – pointing out that the provision of a strong approach to wellbeing, through a clear strategy, has long been on DHL Supply Chain’s agenda.

“I believe a holistic approach to wellbeing is an important part of our company strategy”, she said. “We seek to be a diverse and inclusive employer, and for me this means encouraging all employees to enjoy what they do and to be comfortable bringing their true selves to work every day. I recognize that some colleagues need extra support at various times of their lives and in different ways, so an overarching wellbeing strategy supports our aspiration around inclusivity and belonging."

DHL champions wellbeing in the workplace 

Working for a company that focuses on the need for positive mental health is key.

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