Workplace Mental Health and Well-being Programme30 July 2018
Mental health revolves around psychological and emotional well-being of an individual. The state of our mental health, good or bad, can have significant effects on how we think, act and conduct ourselves. Problems with mental health can, and do, affect anybody; in fact, as many as one in four of us will experience problems with our mental health at some stage in our lives. We are becoming accustomed to hearing about the importance of mental health and well-being amongst teenagers and young adults and how schools, colleges and universities can combat such problems, but, what about those who suffer in the workplace?
The team attended a workshop where Claire Thomas, a representative from Mind, gave an interesting and enlightening talk about mental health in the workplace. Research conducted by Mind has highlighted that whilst mental health covers many, many issues, those most common in the workplace revolve around depression, anxiety and stress and, furthermore, ill mental health is becoming an increasingly prevalent problem amongst staff of all ages and all levels of seniority. However, there is a prolonged culture of stigma and ignorance around mental health problems, making it extremely difficult for those who are struggling to feel comfortable approaching colleagues or bosses about problems they are experiencing.
It is becoming increasingly important to confront and understand mental health and, as James Farrar, our Chief Operating Officer, said, we are very keen to do that properly, in a way that is inclusive, sensitive and effective. So, what are we going to do?
We believe there are simple steps that the team can take to look after themselves and each other at work. Subsequently, we are currently working on an exciting project which we hope will raise awareness of mental health issues, improve communication and conversations around mental health, promote positive mental health and well-being for the team and make the workplace a compassionate and understanding environment for those who do experience mental health difficulties, ensuring team members feel able to talk about mental health problems they are facing. We hope to achieve this by utilising the five ways to well-being (be active, take notice, connect, give and keep learning) by engaging in relevant activities, like lunch time runs, reading a new book or going for coffee with a colleague.