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P&G to launch mental health first aiders programme for employees across APAC, Middle East, Africa

P&G to launch mental health first aiders programme for employees across APAC, Middle East, Africa

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A task force will be formed over the next year, and employees from different workgroups will be trained and certified to provide support and assist peers experiencing mental health issues.

Procter & Gamble (P&G) has announced new commitments aimed toward advancing equality & inclusion (E&I) across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa (AMA).

Shared at its fifth annual  #WeSeeEqual summit on 3 May 2023 (Wednesday), these commitments include forming a task force of certified mental health first aiders over the next year, and a programme to educate girls on puberty and menstrual hygiene.

The mental health first aiders programme will be run across markets in all three regions where about 19,000 employees reside, and will comprise employees from different workgroups who will be trained and certified by licensed authorities and organisations to provide support and assist peers experiencing mental health issues. 

These 'first aiders' will act as the first line of response and will be equipped to identify signs and symptoms of emotional distress and initiate a supportive conversation with a colleague, guide them towards available resources in the company, and encourage them to seek professional support. 

Meanwhile, the educational programme – named Always and Whisper 'Keeping girls in school' – will see P&G educating more than 35mn adolescent girls on puberty and menstrual hygiene in the above-mentioned regions over the next three years. Through this, the company's aim is to focus on increasing awareness about the need for period education, and preventing girls from missing and dropping out of school.

In addition to the above, P&G also shared progress on its ongoing initiatives, including:

  • The P&G ReLaunch programme: the programme was introduced in India, Singapore, and the Philippines last year, to welcome back talented professionals who took a break from the workforce and are looking to restart their careers in STEM roles, with targeted support and development. Today, the programme is part of the company's commitment to strengthen diversity in STEM and will focus on people looking to relaunch their careers in IT, research & development, and product supply.
  • As part of its commitment to spend a cumulative total of S$300mn by deliberately working with women-owned and women-led businesses across the AMA region, from the year 2021 to 2025, P&G has made headways on this front and has, at this pointed, invested S$175mn in this initiative. Through its flagship AMA Women Entrepreneurs Academy programme, P&G has built the capability of more than 1000 Women Entrepreneurs in 10 markets in the region, that will enable them to make their businesses more competitive.
  • P&G committed to improving the accessibility of its brand advertising, including social media content and websites, by making most of its communication accessible to people with sight and hearing impairments by 2024. The company noted that it has made strong progress on this commitment and by 2024, a majority of its communication will be accessible to people with sight and hearing impairments.
  • Last, it continues to work towards achieving equal representation of female directors behind the camera for the company's brand advertisements. In the AMA region, P&G has increased the representation of female directors from 16% in 2019 to more than 35% today; and aims to achieve 50% women behind the camera through a comprehensive set of actions to build, fuel, and connect a pipeline of diverse female talent in advertising, media, and content.

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Lead image: Shutterstock

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