Get ready for World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2020, as we call on everyone to open up to mental health, to talk and to listen!
World Mental Health Day was first observed on 10 October 1992 as an annual activity of the World Federation for Mental Health aimed at promoting mental health advocacy and educating the public on relevant issues. Celebrated on the 10th of October, it provides an opportunity to place the spotlight on the mental health challenges experienced in our world today.
It is a great opportunity to engage your organisation in the fantastic work you are already doing to address mental health stigma in the workplace, and to introduce new policies or activities to employees.
Here at SkillBase First Aid we know that one day is not sufficient when it comes to making real change for mental health awareness in the workplace, but it’s certainly a great place to start!
WFH (Working From Home)
As a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us are working remotely more often or all of the time, this means we are missing a lot of face-to-face interactions and communication. It is more important now than ever to consider how to create learning opportunities for all staff and also increase their understanding of mental health.
Activities to try!
There is a fantastic activity pack that Time to Change has put together that covers all sorts of ways you can check in with colleagues, from virtual lunch & learns to sharing stories digitally where you can facilitate a small group talking about how they would want to be treated at work if they felt unwell.
Find more activities here
Wellness Action Plan
The Wellness Action Plan is a tool to help us identify what impacts our mental health and what helps to keep us well at work. It helps as a practical and useful measure in improving wellbeing and supporting recovery. It’s important for all of us to stay aware of our own mental health at work.
The fantastic team at MIND have put together a tweaked version of the WAP to incorporate working from home. You can see this here.
Talk to your employees!
No matter how big or small your company is, communication is key! We know that attitudes filter down from the top and line management. So, ask yourself, what kind of culture do I want in my workplace? What kind of impression do I give to my staff? How would I want to be treated?
You can let people know with a simple email or a monthly newsletter, one that can acknowledge the benefits of talking about mental health, what you pledge to do to make the workplace a mentally healthy one and what you intend to put in place that ensures this.
Training for employees
With 1 in 5 employees experiencing moderate to high levels of stress, it is crucial to look at how you can support, educate and empower your employees with training such as Mental Health First Aid
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training is designed to reduce stigma and teach practical skills that can be used every day in the workplace. It teaches people how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and provide help on a first aid basis.
We also have a dedicated Mental Health Training Manager to consult with you and your organisation on strategy, implementing MHFA and all wellbeing related policies.
However you do it, just do it!
You don’t have to be experts to talk about mental health, it’s something we all have, just as we all have physical health. So talk, listen and be open-minded.