01 Mar 2024

Kao Data Champions Mental Health First Aider Initiative: Elevating Employee Well-Being


In an era where mental health is rightfully taking centre stage, organisations are increasingly recognising the need to prioritise the mental well-being of their workforce. Kao Data is keen to reinforce this commitment by announcing our proactive adoption of the Mental Health First Aider initiative, which highlights the commitment the company has to the mental health of the team. It is our belief that this is a pivotal step in fostering a workplace culture that recognises the universal impact of mental health challenges.

Mental health knows no boundaries, and this project reflects the understanding that it can affect individuals at any level of an organisation's hierarchy, from the senior leadership team to junior support staff.

At any given time, 1 in 6 working-age adults have symptoms associated with poor mental health and 1 in 4 people experience poor mental health each year. By acknowledging this reality, Kao Data aims to further create an inclusive and supportive environment that addresses the unique needs of all of our team members as and when they arise.

The Mental Health First Aider Training:

The innovative programme requires selected individuals within the organisation who will then serve as the first point of contact for anyone facing mental health challenges. Following their training, our staff are able to offer a non-judgmental listening ear, practical guidance and facilitate access to professional help when necessary. However, it is important to recognise that confidentiality is of the highest importance and anyone who requires this service can be assured that discussions will be treated with the utmost discretion.

At the heart of Kao Data's Mental Health First Aider Network are myself - Wendy Bailey and my colleague Chris Small. Recently we underwent accredited training with mhfaengland.org/ to become the first two fully qualified Mental Health First Aiders at Kao Data.

My primary role at Kao Data is Customer Implementation Manager, however the training provided by MHFA England now enables me to be an invaluable source of first-line support to my colleagues who may be navigating mental health challenges within our organisation.

I firmly believe that our employees are at the core of our success and the launch of the Mental Health First Aider initiative is not merely a policy; it epitomises Kao Data’s dedication to the well-being of our team. By investing in mental health support, we aim to create an environment where every team member feels not just included but genuinely valued and supported.

There is an increasing need for open communication about mental health and it is crucial for our employees to know that it's okay not to be okay. By dismantling the stigma surrounding mental health, we are fostering a culture of understanding and compassion. The Mental Health First Aider initiative is a tangible manifestation of our commitment to creating a workplace where mental health is prioritised and respected.

Chris's View:

My colleague and fellow Mental Health First Aider, Chris Small (Technical Operations Manager at Kao Data), shared his insights into the broader impact and advantages of implementing the Mental Health First Aider initiative. "Beyond the moral imperative, which is obviously Kao Data’s primary motivation, a mentally healthy workforce is a more productive and innovative one. Investing in the mental health of our employees is not just about being socially responsible; but a fundamental business requirement. A mentally resilient team is better equipped to navigate challenges, collaborate effectively, and contribute significantly to the overall success of the business.”

Expanding on the organisational culture, Chris noted, "The Mental Health First Aider initiative is not a mere checkbox for corporate responsibility. It's about cultivating a culture where employees feel genuinely supported and empowered. This, in turn, leads to increased job satisfaction, higher retention rates, and a positive workplace atmosphere. It's an investment in people that pays off in the long run for both the employees and the company."


In summary, our adoption of the Mental Health First Aider initiative marks a significant step towards creating a workplace culture that not only acknowledges but actively addresses the complex challenges posed by mental health issues in today's society. The commitment and investment in this initiative exemplifies the dedication of Kao Data to the well-being of its employees.

Looking ahead, we hope to expand the Mental Health First Aider Initiative by empowering more of our team members to become qualified and by establishing a network of support that is easily accessible to every team member, further dismantling barriers and stigma associated with seeking mental health assistance.

We also intend to keep this at the heart of our ESG agenda by providing ongoing training to continually update and empower its Mental Health First Aiders, keeping them well-equipped to handle the evolving landscape of mental health challenges.

By fostering a culture that not only acknowledges but actively addresses mental health, we will create a culture where individuals can thrive both professionally and personally.

Wendy Bailey

Wendy Bailey is Customer Implementation Manager at Kao Data. A seasoned supply chain management and logistics professional, boasting over 12 years of expertise across both domestic and international supply chain operations. As a champion of employee well-being Wendy also qualified as one of Kao Data's first Mental Health First Aiders and acts as first-line support to colleagues who may be struggling.


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