Mental health problems can affect any one, on any day of the year, but World Mental Health Day on 10 October is a great opportunity to initiate a company-wide conversation on mental health.
Drawing on our 10 years experience delivering workplace mental health solutions, we’ve shared five of our favourite ideas to celebrate World Mental Health Day at your workplace (10 October falls on a Saturday, but these ideas could be implemented on the week days either side):
12 til 2: Make it just for YOU.
For one day, encourage everyone to keep their diary free of meetings and a no-email rule from 12-2pm. instead, employees are encouraged to use that me for activities that promote their mental health, such as exercising or reading a book to unwind.
Never under estimate the power of story-telling and the effect of hearing someone else’s vulnerabilities and personal experiences. EY’s initiative to share stories of their own people was a huge success, with employees from all areas and levels of seniority within the business, talking openly about their own experiences of depression, anxiety, and alcoholism.
Train up Mental Health First Aiders
It is now recommended that every organisation should have at least 1 Mental Health First Aider for every 25 employees, with MHFA England’s mission to train 1 in 10 employees. Our 2 day Mental Health First Aid course doesn’t teach people to be therapists, but it does teach them to listen, reassure and respond, even in a crisis – and even potentially reach out to someone before a crisis happens. Having mental health first aiders throughout all areas of your business (and not just HR) puts your business in a much stronger position to protect your people’s wellbeing…and proves to your employees your commitment to promoting positive mental health. Book your team on to a Mental Health First Aid course.
Worrying about saying the wrong thing shouldn’t put you off from checking in with a colleague you’re concerned about. We love these suggestions from the Australian ‘R U OK?’ campaign on how to start a conversation about mental health. There’s also a great video here for specifically asking R U OK at work: https://vimeo.com/283591379
Connect with your Colleagues (Perhaps over a curry!)
We know that Covid has had a huge detrimental effect on our mental health, which the limited interaction and connection from home-working has done little to help. Until after-work drinks or a catch-up over morning coffee can resume, our virtual cooking class is the office social for 2020. Live-streamed via Zoom, our chef talks your team through a veggie curry dish (other menus are available), with your colleagues cooking and sharing in the fun alongside you.
If you’re looking for more ways to incorporate mental health in to your workplace wellbeing strategy, see our range of workplace mental health workshops, webinars and trainings here.