With one in four of us experiencing a mental health problem each year in the UK, it is inevitable that we all know someone affected by mental illness. Our mental health affects us every day, and so of course it affects us at work – in fact poor mental health costs the UK economy up to £99 billion each year. That’s why we’re putting it to you to kick start a mental health campaign in your workplace in the run up to World Mental Health Day.
With just over 4 weeks to go, it’s a perfect opportunity to get the wheels turning and create more awareness around mental health in your workplace. To help inspire you, we have compiled a Final Countdown of ideas and things to do to mark World Mental Health Day.
So, let’s get started!
Week 1 – Chatterbox
Understanding and talking about how our mental health can affect our wellbeing is crucial to making our workplaces happier and healthier. This week why don’t you host an ideas meeting about things you can do on World Mental Health Day to get the conversation flowing around mental health.
Posters, Conversation Starters, a tea and talk hour, there are plenty of ways to get people discussing and sharing info on mental health on the day. Use our resources too to open up discussions and spread awareness, ask us about our brand new info guides, and download the Conversation Starter from our friends at Time To Change here.
Week 2 – Wellbeing Warriors
One of our charities, Rethink Mental Illness has set-up Wellbeing Warriors; a peer-led employee support programme to ensure employees look after themselves and each other’s mental wellbeing at work.
Why not group together some of your enthusiastic colleagues to discuss ideas on how to improve and keep up wellbeing in the workplace. Lunch time walks, breakfast clubs, “Bake Off” competitions, crafts… the possibilities are endless!
With a team of bright minds, helping people step away from their desk for even just a minute, can be a great way to give mental health and wellbeing some airtime, bring together your team and result in a happier and more focused workforce. Have a look at our wellbeing tips here for some inspiration and aim to trial one or two of your ideas on World Mental Health Day.
Week 3 – De-stress
Stress is natural, and some stress can be good in the workplace, it can challenge you and push you to accomplish things you might have thought were beyond your reach. However, we all know workplace induced stress can sometimes get too much, and can have a negative impact on our mental wellbeing. Being able to manage our stress levels at work is an invaluable skill. Have a look at our Tips for Managing Stress in the Workplace here with information for managers and employees alike it could be a good one to share on the day.
Week 4 – Shout About It
Be proud of your initiatives. Get the word out at the start of October about what you have planned. Make sure everyone in the team knows what is going on and show your colleagues that you are committed to improving awareness and action around mental health in your workplace.
Hopefully you now feel ready to really run with World Mental Health Day. With more confidence to talk about mental health, some (free!) resources, and ideas for wellbeing initiatives, get sharing your plans and chatting about mental health on social by using hashtags like #WorldMentalHealthDay and tagging us @MentalHealthUK. Finally, please do give us a bell on 020 7840 3111 or drop us an email at [email protected] if you would like to discuss any more ideas or resources to enhance your World Mental Health Day plans.
Hopefully now the wheels are very much turning and you are feeling inspired, so why not take the next leap and sign up to our brand-new workplace focused event happening in November? We have partnered this year with This Can Happen – a conference for forward thinking companies to share expertise and solutions for providing support for their colleagues’ mental health.
The conference is being held on 20 November in London, have a look here, and give us an email on [email protected] or a call on 020 7840 3111 to find out more and join the wave of forward thinking companies taking the next step in building a happy and health workforce!
As ever we send a huge thanks to you all for your remarkable efforts in pushing mental health up the agenda to help us improve lives of everyone affected by mental illness.
Your Mental Health UK team
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