Get ready for World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2021, as we call on everyone to open up to mental health, to talk and to listen!
World Mental Health Day was first observed on the 10th of 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!
This year’s theme
Mental health care for all: let’s make it a reality!
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on people’s mental health. Some groups, including health and other frontline workers, students, people living alone, and those with pre-existing mental health conditions, have been particularly affected. And services for mental, neurological and substance use disorders have been significantly disrupted.
Yet there is cause for optimism. During the World Health Assembly in May 2021, governments from around the world recognized the need to scale up quality mental health services at all levels. And some countries have found new ways of providing mental health care to their populations”.
Taken from World Health Organisation (WHO)
So, what can my company do for World Mental Health Day?
There are many things you can do to show your employees and colleagues that mental health and wellbeing is a priority.
Here are some ideas…
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?
Send an anonymous survey to find out what your colleagues want to see more of in the company and gather new ideas.
You can let people know what you are doing to support their mental health and wellbeing 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.
Educate and grow
We don’t have to have everything perfect. The most important thing is to be open to growth, learning and change. Mental health and wellbeing is different for everyone, try to offer learning opportunities and education through talks, sessions and understanding what it is your employees may need support with.
WFH (Working From Home)
As a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us are still 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. Make sure to build video calls and social interactions into your week. A simple drop-in coffee break virtual room, sharing resources, committing to a regular wellbeing check-in be it one on one or as a group.
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 for both the line manager and the employee. 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.
Contribute to a good cause
There are hundreds of incredible charities and groups that need support! Show your commitment and dedication to supporting mental health by joining forces or contributing to your local mental health organisations. You could also participate in fundraising campaigns, bringing employees together for a great cause!
Show gratitude and recognition
We know that showing someone gratitude and recognition helps to improve not only their wellbeing and happiness, but our own too! Make sure to recognise your colleagues and spread a little joy!
Book a talk for your workplace!
Our accredited Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) trainers deliver a wide range of talks, sessions and workshops on mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can create the perfect talk for your organisation! You can also book in a free consultation to consult with you and your organisation on strategy, implementing MHFA and all wellbeing-related policies.
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.
Here at SkillBase First Aid we provide Mental Health First Aid courses available at our training centres, as an online course or we can come to you wherever you are in England! We also offer bespoke training, sessions and talks. Get in touch today to find out how we can support your organisation.
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.