The 13-19th May 2019 marks the Mental Health Awareness Week as hosted by the Mental Health Foundation.
Raising awareness on such important issues is vital and the dedication of a week is to be applauded, however, this issue should have more than just a one week a year focus. As a company the Health side of Health & Safety is incredibly important to us and over the last few years we have run a number of articles promoting health and wellbeing in the workplace. However, we also like to practice what we preach and so 2019 has seen Safety Media embark on a journey to help educate our colleagues about making healthy lifestyle choices.
So far these have included implementing a programme of free fruit; having models installed in the break rooms illustrating the effects on the lungs of smoking, collaborating with Mind to promote mental wellbeing, various lunchtime mindfulness sessions and also hiring a personal trainer to come to our office after work once a week to put our physical fitness to the test!
It is events such as Mental Health Awareness Week which have highlighted to us the importance of the subject and that is why we are keen to keep promoting this subject as an integral part of workplace safety regimes.
Mental Health Awareness Week – an example in practice…
This morning we all logged into our emails at Safety Media to be greeted by our HR Manager, Helene Simmons, introducing us to our monthly health and well-being topic being Mental Health.
As part of this we have been provided with discreet leaflets that can be taken away to read more about potential issues in a more private setting; we have been introduced to Banana’s as our fruit of the week as the potassium is essential for the nervous system (which of course includes the brain) and on Wednesday we will be treated to a Mind Meal encompassing a range of proteins, mega-3 fats, vitamins, wholegrains and healthy gut foods in a single meal!
This is not a fad, or a phase, or a trendy topic to talk about; this is as important as any other issue in health and safety and should be handled as such throughout the year and as part of regular health and safety regimes.
Here are some of the issues tackled previously on our blog:
Should we be taking a holistic approach to driving safety? Looking at whether encouraging employees to work through stresses and anxieties could lead to less work related driving incidents.
“Hearts and Minds” – A different approach to health and safety. Earlier in the year, we invited Barry O’Connor, former Global Health & Safety Director at adidas, to talk on our stand at LEarning TEchnologies about how he took a moral approach to implement health and safety standards and the impact they had on wellbeing throughout the organisation.
It’s okay not to be okay…Introducing the work being done by Heads Together, the organisation set up by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry with the sole aim of breaking down the stigma about talking about mental health.
Ruby Wax – Frazzled – What does it mean, how does it happen, how do you spot it and how can you help?
Tools to help tackle mental health awareness?
Organisations such as Mind or Heads Together can provide resources to help you promote a healthy mind throughout the workplace, however, in order to really embed the change in the fabric of the organisation a more long term plan should be in place. Providing regular and up to date training on issues such as Health & Wellbeing, Stress Management, Conflict Management and so on demonstrates a proactive commitment to wellbeing in the workplace. How you decide to conduct such training is your choice but at Safety Media we, of course, use e-Learning to deliver these important topics to all of our colleagues. We also use our online Document Management system which allows our HR team to push out important policies, PDFs, documents and information across the entire business, even to our remote workers, to ensure peace of mind that everyone is being treated equally in terms of support. (In fact our HR team probably get more use out of document management system than our Health & Safety team do but don’t tell them I told you that!)
If you would be interested in having a conversation about instilling a proactive mental health well-being programme in your organisation or would like to talk more about how we tackle things ourselves at Safety Media then please don’t hesitate to give us a call or drop us an email.
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While putting this article together I came across this set of images showing some exercises that can be undertaken in the office. I am not sure about you but I am not at all convinced that some of these should be done while leaning on or sat on a chair with wheels?! Be sure to undertake risk assessments and provide relevant advice before imparting advice to your employees…remember the mantra “where there is blame there is a claim”.
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Article written by: Claire Williams, Marketing Director All opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organisation as a whole.