Our partnership with mental health charity Mind.

E.ON Next blog Mental Health Mind

The last few years have been tough on the nation’s mental health. More people than ever are in need of support, and mental health services are struggling to keep up with demand. It’s an issue that touches so many of us, and one that E.ON Next colleagues care a lot about. In 2021, E.ON Next colleagues voted to partner with Mind, the leading mental health charity operating across England and Wales. 

In early 2022 we launched our partnership with Mind. The partnership continues to this day and shows our commitment to supporting the mental wellbeing of colleagues and customers. On the launch of the partnership, Michael Lewis, then Chief Executive of E.ON UK echoed the endorsement of Mind by colleagues:

"Our relationship with Mind will also drive our commitment to supporting the wellbeing of our colleagues and customers, which has never been more important than during these challenging times. One in four people experience a mental health problem each year and we’re creating a culture in which everyone can be themselves and feels valued, recognised for who they are and supported no matter what life circumstance they are going through."

Through the partnership, E.ON Next colleagues are raising vital funds to support Mind’s services. These include Mind’s Infoline, which provides confidential information and advice about mental health and its online peer support community ‘Side by Side’. We're also supporting Mind's campaigns to ensure that those experiencing mental health problems get support and respect. 

How Mind supports people with mental health problems.

Mind’s mission is to make sure anyone experiencing a mental health problem gets the support and respect they deserve. They offer help whenever people might need it through their helplines, their online community, Side by Side, and through local Minds across England and Wales. They build networks of individuals and communities who care about mental health and empower them to make a difference. And they campaign to tackle injustices in healthcare, work and law which can make life tougher for those of us with mental health problems. 

The impact they’re making is huge. From 2022 - 2023, Mind responded to 130,973 queries to their support and information lines, Infoline and Legal Line1. Through Mind’s Infoline, they offer confidential mental health support for the price of a local phone call. Through Mind’s Legal Line, they offer information on mental health law. With their award-winning information, available online and in print, they put mental health resources in reach for those in need. In 2022 - 2023 alone, these resources were accessed 23.3 million times2

The stats don’t stop there. By promoting the importance of mental health focused communities, they grew their online peer support community, Side by Side, to 17,100 active members in two years3. Local Minds, which run mental health services in local communities across England and Wales, supported almost 470,000 people4.

Along with all this on the ground support, Mind campaigns passionately on mental health issues. They lead nationwide campaigns on mental health services, legislation, legal rights and employment. Through Time to Talk Day, which they launched in partnership with Rethink Mental Illness in 2014, they’ve brought mental health into the national conversation. Millions of people get talking about mental health on the first Thursday of February every year5. Finally, Mind has supported 1.3 million employees through their workplace wellbeing programmes, and many more by partnering with companies like us6

This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, Mind has launched its #NoMindLeftBehind campaign. They’re calling on everyone to raise awareness and vital funds for a future where everyone can get quality mental health care, when they need it. Learn how to get involved and show your support on their Mental Health Awareness Week page.

Supporting mental wellbeing.

From the pandemic to the energy and cost of living crisis, turbulent times have led to more people struggling and reaching out for mental health support. The cost of living crisis in particular has brought energy affordability into focus. As an energy business, our teams have seen the impact of these crises on our customers first-hand. 

As a result we’ve put extra resources into training our teams to support our customers. We recognise that mental health problems can make earning and managing money more difficult. We know that worrying about money can make our mental health worse. So we’ve trained our Energy Specialists to spot when customers might need more support. We can then offer those struggling a range of targeted services and give them more time to seek specialist advice. 

Our teams are looking out for each other too. Back in 2019, E.ON received a Gold Award from Mind in its Workplace Wellbeing Index. This was recognition that we’d embedded mental health into our policies and practices and demonstrated a long-term and in-depth commitment to colleagues' mental health.

Since then, we’ve built on this foundation. In 2023, Mind ran training workshops for E.ON Next colleagues on how to support vulnerable customers while looking after their own wellbeing. This shows our mutual commitment to giving both colleagues and customers holistic support in the face of challenging times. Across E.ON Next, around 100 colleagues volunteer as ‘Wellbeing Warriors’, championing good mental health internally. They've provided more than 900 hours of support through individual conversations and messaging across the business.  

We encourage an open culture around the mental wellbeing of our people through our ‘Time to Talk’ sessions. Senior leaders host these, talk about their own experiences and facilitate open and honest discussions with small groups of colleagues. Over 650 colleagues have taken part in these sessions, covering topics ranging from the menopause to bereavement and loss and work/life balance.

Fundraising for Mind.

E.ON Next colleagues have proven their enthusiasm and commitment to charity fundraising time and time again over the years. This has certainly also been the case with Mind since we began our partnership. Last year, intrepid E.ON Next colleagues completed marathons, bike rides, bake offs, quizzes and more to raise money for Mind. We also dropped off over 150 donation bags to Mind charity shops. 

Colleagues also give to Mind through payroll and the charity Pennies scheme, donating a small amount of their pay to Mind every month. What’s more, E.ON Next matches the money raised by colleagues to help double the amount going to Mind. These efforts can make a huge difference to Mind and the support they can offer. Our contribution during 2023 alone could have helped Mind’s Infoline answer 11,000 enquiries. Beyond fundraising and donations, E.ON Next colleagues support Mind's initiatives through skilled volunteering opportunities. These have been hugely beneficial to Mind, helping them to save on costs and add value to their work.

Tackling eco-anxiety.

The effects of climate change are already impacting people around the world – a fact that is understandably worrying. Eco-anxiety is how we describe those feelings of concern, fear, anger, and hopelessness about the future of our planet. It’s on the rise, particularly amongst those aged 16-25. As a generation that's grown up facing the impact of climate change, the weight of responsibility to act lies heavy on their shoulders. 

Climate change is consistently ranked as one of young peoples’ biggest concerns across the UK – showing just how deeply they care. Of 1,500 young people we interviewed, 59% told us they had feelings of eco-anxiety in the last fortnight.⁷ Encouragingly though, they also showed the strongest desire to take positive climate action.

Tackling Eco-anxiety

Tackling eco-anxiety: E.ON Next helps colleagues understand climate change and how to cope with eco-anxiety.

During the UN Climate Summit (COP28), we shared research on 'eco-anxiety', conducted on behalf of E.ON Next. The research sheds light on the psychological impacts of climate change and environmental concerns. The figures were sobering but also offered hope. While 72% of respondents said they thought that ‘the future is frightening’, 93% are already taking positive environmental action.⁸  

We also shared our research insights with Mind, recognising the importance of mental health support in addressing eco-anxiety. We’re now working with them to build tools to combat eco-anxiety and help people to act towards their environmental goals. With the belief that healthy minds can make positive change, we’re raising awareness of the issue and building a community of people to support one another to take positive environmental action. 

Reach out if you need support.

If you, or someone you know, needs mental health support please reach out to Mind. If you need extra support with your energy needs please get in touch with our Energy Specialists. Take a look at the ways we can help, from finding financial help to working out what’s affordable for you. As always, any way we can help, we will.

Published 13/05/2024