Every day this week we're sharing the stories of workplaces that are putting mental health at the top of their agenda.

Today we're hearing from professional services company Accenture.

Barbara Harvey is the company's mental health executive sponsor.

She believes that the number of people facing mental health challenges is increasingly being recognised as a societal issue that needs to be addressed.

“These challenges are affecting people across all walks of life and the tech sector is no exception," she says.

"However technology can also play an important role in helping to provide support to people experiencing mental health issues.

"For a start, it’s instantly accessible to anyone and tends to be free or inexpensive. Many of these are also available round the clock.

"This includes helplines, web-based advice such as the Samaritans’ advice on what to do if someone is having suicidal thoughts, chat rooms where people can talk to others experiencing the same things and apps like Headspace.

"For people who find it difficult to talk about mental health, the ability to open up anonymously is a huge benefit and can represent an important step on the path to getting help.

"Advanced technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR) are also being developed to support and treat people with mental health conditions.

"Accenture’s Anxiety VR chatbot is a prototype which we are currently in the process of developing further before we trial it with our employees.

"At Accenture, we’ve put in place a Mental Health Allies programme to get the message across that it’s okay to talk about mental health and to equip people so they know what to do if a colleague need support.

"It’s all about being open, listening and normalising conversations around mental health.”

Read more from companies creating a supportive environment:

Olark

AECOM

Capgemini

Get the full special report on mental health and extra content in the digital magazine below

E-edition cover