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Toolstation continues to support its customers as over half declare they don’t feel comfortable discussing personal concerns over digital platforms - Time to Talk Day, Thursday 4 February

Published: 4 February 2021 - Neil Mead
 

Toolstation continues in its campaign with Time to Change to provide ongoing support for its customers and colleagues, marking Time to Talk Day on Thursday 4 February to encourage people to talk more openly. The campaign was established eight years ago by Time to Change which sets out to spread awareness of mental health issues, offering advice and guidance to encourage people to talk more openly about personal concerns and the impact on mental health.

As the impacts of COVID-19 continue to affect its customers, Toolstation wants to encourage more of its customers to talk more openly about mental health. With current lockdown making it more difficult to meet face to face, worryingly, recent findings by Toolstation* brought to light that over half of its customers expressed discomfort towards talking about important issues like mental health over Zoom or Facetime. Furthermore, respondents over the age of 55 highlighted they have lost access to the people in their support network since lockdown because they can’t meet face to face (66%) and can’t talk at the places they usually would, like football matches or at the pub (33%).

The customer survey* by Toolstation reveals:

  • 57% of tradespeople and  53% of DIYers don’t feel comfortable talking about important issues like mental health over zoom or facetime
  • When asked why a customer might not have initiated a conversation to support a friend, 26% of Toolstation customers confirmed they don’t talk to friends about mental health
  • 18% of tradespeople haven’t initiated a conversation with a friend they’re worried about because they feel awkward and 28% do not want to embarrass or offend them

The survey also uncovered the concerning impacts for millennial trade and DIY customers (under 35's), citing career (57%) and finances (53%) as the main concerns. However, they are more inclined to open up about mental health, with 89% confirming they had initiated a conversation and offered help to a friend they are worried about, and encouragingly 64% who have struggled with mental health themselves have reached out to friends or family to talk.

Toolstation recognises the importance of raising awareness of mental health amongst its customers and as part of the campaign and its work with Time To Change, provides important and necessary practical guidance and digital resources through its dedicated hub on its website (toolstation.com/headfirst) and social channels. 

To support Time to Talk Day, Toolstation is working with Andy Stevens, a well-known tradesperson from DIY SOS to present a LIVE show with On The Tools on their Facebook page  (social media platform for the trades which has a reach on Facebook of over 4 million followers), to interview  two members of the Northampton Saints rugby team; Piers Francis and Harry Mallinder and a tradesperson, talking all things mental health. This LIVE show will focus on spreading awareness about Time to Talk Day, and sharing personal experiences of mental health issues, such as lockdown causing delays to trade work and sports, keeping motivated during these times, and how it can affect overall performance. This will be taking place on Wednesday 3rd February at 12:30pm

Internally, Toolstation is also active at promoting positive mental health amongst colleagues. Its dedicated Wellbeing Centre on its internal intranet provides health and advice on all topics across mental health, movement, food, and money. The retailer also provides a code for colleagues to subscribe to an app called Thrive for free – a useful app offering a huge range of mental wellbeing resources, including cognitive behavioural therapy, through to meditation and mindfulness. In addition, Toolstation provides a link to the Employee Assistance Programme, which is an independent resource run by Care First, which helps with work based or personal issues and can offer counselling. 

Greg Richardson, Head of Marketing at Toolstation, said: Time To Talk Day is an opportunity for our customers to speak more openly about mental health: “We’re happy to be supporting Time To Talk Day as part of our wider work to support the mental health of both our colleagues and customers during these particularly testing times.”

Jo Loughran, Director of Time to Change, said: “We know that attitudes towards those of us with mental health problems have improved in recent years and it’s important that we don’t let that slide. The last year has been hard and it’s perhaps made more people realise that we can all struggle with our mental health at times. Let’s take this opportunity to ensure that we all feel comfortable talking about it, too.”

Toolstation is encouraging colleagues and customers to get involved and have a conversation about mental health this Time to Talk Day – text a friend, chat to a colleague, or sharing something on social media using #TimeToTalk. For more information on this campaign visit: https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/get-involved/time-talk-day

*survey consists of 4,000 Toolstation customers including trades and DIYers in November 2020

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