Samaritans Supports Asda to Stand Up to Stigma

A Samaritans volunteer at Asda HQ for Wellness Week
Wednesday 27th July 2016
Samaritans and Asda are teaming up to help break the stigma around mental health.

On Tuesday 26th July, colleagues at Asda House met volunteers from Wakefield & District Samaritans at Asda’s Wellness Week, aimed at promoting emotional, mental and physical wellbeing.

A Samaritans volunteer speaking with Asda colleagues at Asda HQ's Wellness Week

Samaritans Branch Director, Jayne James said: “As one of the organisations invited to Asda’s Wellness Week, Samaritans will be sharing how we can help by being a source of confidential emotional support, and educating colleagues on how they can take care of themselves and others.

“We believe that the stress and pressure that many people feel can be greatly alleviated by talking about it.  We also know that there is a massive stigma around mental health issues, despite the fact that 1 out of 4 people will experience a mental health problem.  All too often, this stigma prevents people from seeking help, until the pressure gets too much.

“So it’s wonderful that a large company like Asda are committed to breaking the stigma, bringing mental health out of the shadows and supporting their colleagues.  Wellness Week is a fantastic and inclusive way of doing this, as well as raising awareness of the support that colleagues can access, both within Asda and through external organisations.”

Asda colleagues learning about Active Listening

Samaritans wants to encourage people to listen to the really important things their friends, family and colleagues need to tell them, so they've created five helpful tips - called SHUSH - to help people become better listeners:

  1. Show you care – Focus on the other person, make eye contact, put away your phone
  2. Have patience – It may take time and several attempts before a person is ready to open up.
  3. Use open questions – Use open questions that need more than a yes/no answer, and follow up with questions like "Tell me more".
  4. Say it back – Check you’ve understood, but don’t interrupt or offer a solution.
  5. Have courage – Don’t be put off by a negative response and, most importantly, don’t feel you have to fill a silence.

An Asda spokesperson said: “At Asda, colleague Wellness is all our concern and responsibility and this week has been a great opportunity to raise awareness about ways we can improve our physical and mental health and what support there is out there. We are extremely grateful to Samaritans for supporting our event and thank you to the representatives for coming into Asda House and sharing support and advice with our colleagues.”

An Asda colleague thinking about "what makes you happy?"

Every 90 minutes, someone in the UK or Ireland dies by suicide, but you don’t have to feel suicidal to call, email or text.  Samaritans is there for anyone who needs to talk, in confidence, about whatever’s getting to them. Whatever you’re going through, call us for free any time, from any phone, on 116 123 (this number will not appear on your bill), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch.