Since 2018, Octopus EV has been on a mission to help more people get behind the wheel of an EV and move away from polluting fuel-powered cars.They’re the go-to place for everything you need to go electric: car, charger, energy and 4.8* service.
When Octopus Electric Vehicles first decided to provide their team with mental health support, they had some key requirements: it had to be easy to access, confidential, and available for employees to use without having to submit a request to their managers or HR.
A product demo in May 2022 confirmed that Spill offered all that and more, and so it began: Spill became the first mental health support available to Octopus Electric Vehicles.
Supporting life's highs and lows
Since its launch, Spill has been positively received by the Octopus EV team. “The instant feedback was great and we’ve seen an increase in employee engagement since introducing Spill,” says Alys Peart, the company’s Chief of Staff.
But for Alys, there’s more to it than employee wellbeing metrics.
“Mental health can be a very difficult subject to address,” she says. “But by making high quality therapy so accessible to everyone, we know we’re supporting them in their personal and professional development. Since introducing Spill, our team now has another tool to support them through the highs and lows of life.”
“As someone living with ADHD, I often struggle with my executive function (getting started on tasks and maintaining momentum). These challenges were affecting both my work and personal life, and so I decided to book a therapy session with Spill.
I’d never had therapy as an adult, but I was keen to talk through my experiences with someone who was trained to listen with an objective ear, to see if they had some actionable advice.
Before the session, I was sceptical; I just didn’t feel confident that a therapist would be able to unlock or understand things better than I could on my own.
How wrong I was.
The first session was amazing! I felt heard and like I had someone in my corner who understood me. My therapist specialises in ADHD, and while I don’t naturally talk about my feelings or struggles, I felt very empowered and safe to do so in the session.
I continued to have regular check-ins with my therapist and they quickly became the highlight of my week. I liked knowing I had intentional time to reflect on things I thought were unchangeable or had no root cause, and to be held accountable.
A lot of the things I discussed during these sessions were linked to my performance and fulfilment at work. I’m still on my journey but I’m noticing positive changes. I’m better at communicating my struggles and areas for improvement, which has in turn helped me facilitate those conversations with my colleagues.I also now have strategies to help me optimise my way of work, and as a result, my overall effectiveness in my role is improving.
Now I actively recommend Spill to colleagues! I feel l'm in a unique position to do so as I was previously sceptical, and also had no acute need to get therapy. I always seek to normalise it, and let people know there's no harm in giving it ago. I did not expect the results I have gotten so far, nor how much I have enjoyed the process. It’s great to work for a company that provides Spill, especially considering the cost and waitlist to go privately.
It’s a no-brainer that fulfilled employees are more effective employees; if people take time to develop themselves personally, it will translate into how they perform professionally - work doesn't happen in a vacuum.”
Improving the conversation around mental health
“I’m elated to be able to help so many of the team at Octopus EV, like Chris” says Alys. “By sharing his experience, he’s helping us to open a more honest conversation around personal wellbeing."
“We want to create a culture of people being able to show vulnerability, bring their full self to work, speak out if they need some extra support - Spill has gone a long way to helping us do that.”
“My advice to other companies wanting to implement mental health support is: Do it — you will not regret it!”