Reeha Alder, Employee Experience Director at AmazeRealise, talks about the importance of Mental Health Awareness Week and what we’re doing to raise awareness of the issues involved.
Mental health is something that affects 25% of the population. In fact, it’s the biggest cause of sickness at work and something all businesses need to take seriously.
I have first hand experience of anxiety over the last 20 years and know how a working environment and behaviours within a business can affect my mental health. My task is to ensure that, at AmazeRealise, we not only create a culture that encourages open conversations about mental health, but we also equip individuals with the tools they need to manage their own mental health.
This is also something mental health charities like MHFA are pushing this week and we’re playing a part.
A week of openness
Throughout this week, we’ll be promoting daily themes like mindfulness, talking and exercise with daily activities that bring these behaviours to life like mindful colouring, yoga and smoothie making classes.
We also have two lunchtime ‘tea and talk’ events where our people and an external speaker will be sharing their mental health stories. Our aim is to encourage a culture of open discussion around a topic that it still somewhat taboo in the workplace. This approach was tested last year by Media Com and proved to be a highly successful way of driving open dialogue around mental health.
Another lovely concept from two of our creative team, Kat Nishan and Ted McDermott, was to add ‘pick me up’ notes in little corners of the office. Staff will hopefully come across them during their daily work and take a moment to reflect on their mental health. We’ve got 18 ‘sun’ stickers that will be in every nook and cranny of our office, including ‘imperfection’ quotes on our mirrors and ‘men do cry’ stickers in the gent’s toilets to encourage our men to talk. This is being followed up by a ‘Man-up’ event we will attend together next Tuesday to understand the extra barriers men in our industry face in opening up about mental health.
Finally, we’re committing to mental health first aiders across all of our five offices. This will ensure that, just like physical first aid, we have qualified staff equipped to provide first response care for staff suffering from any mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression.
There’s always more to achieve and learn and I’d love to hear what you’re doing for Mental Health Awareness Week, or feel free to join us. And, if you have nothing planned, I hope we’ve inspired you to take action.
If you’d like to know more about mental health issues in the workplace, feel free to contact Reeha.