Mental Health Awareness and Supporting Mental Health in the Workplace
More than ever, we are all aware of our mental well-being as we live through the coronavirus pandemic. It’s just as important for a workplace to offer meaningful mental health support in the workplace and we are delighted to now have two Mental Health Support Champions in our team. They have both undertaken Mental Health First Aid training as part of their commitment to raise awareness of mental health in the workplace.
What will our Mental Health First Aiders do?
The key role of our Mental Health Support Champions is to act as the first point of contact for any colleague seeking advice relating to a mental health concern. Whilst they are not trained counsellors or therapists, they can provide trained support and guidance and be a safe person to speak to for anyone who might be struggling to cope.
They can help to advise on any professional support that might be beneficial and suggest different ways to resolve a problem an employee might be experiencing.
As well as offering confidential support, they will also act as advocates for positive change and to reduce stigmas of mental health in the workplace.
How can I support mental health awareness at work?
You don’t have to be a designated Mental Health Support Champion to have a positive impact on the well-being of yourself and others in the workplace. Some of the small things you can do that can make a big difference include:
• Being supportive: Ensure you are always treating a mental health issue the same way you would a physical health issue. Where possible, always attend opportunities for training or workshops on mental health awareness, as your presence at these events will resonate with your colleagues.
• Look after yourself: It can be easy to overlook this whilst busy balancing work and home life, but small adjustments can hugely benefit your state of mind. Always take a lunch break away from your desk and where you can, outside to get some fresh air. Keep a regular exercise routine you enjoy, to help you feel more energised and sleep better. Most importantly, be open when you are struggling and talk through how you are feeling, as a lot of the time just speaking with another person can lift a huge weight.
• Make time to listen: If a colleague asks you for advice or support, make proper time for them and actively listen carefully. Where appropriate, encourage them to seek the support of a Mental Health Support Champion to show that you care and take their wellbeing seriously.
Together, we can take positive steps to raise awareness of the importance of mental health in the workplace.