October 10th marks World Mental Health Awareness Day, one of several key awareness dates throughout the year that brings focus to Mental Health. Supported by WHO (World Health Organisation) it was first celebrated in 1992 and ever since has used its platform to promote mental health advocacy and to educate others.
We must understand the difference between “Mental Health” and “Mental Health Conditions”.
🧠 Mental Health is our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. EVERYONE has Mental Health.
🧠 Mental Health conditions are disorders/illnesses that affect your mood, thinking and behaviour. Examples of these include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviours. Although not everyone will experience a condition, in England alone 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year and 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem in any given week.
Although so much focus and work are being done on the education around Mental Health, there are still so many stigmas and stereotypes associated with this so employers must have not only their employee’s well-being but also their own knowledge on Mental Health high on their agenda.
There is a range of resources that employees can use, a lot of it for free!, and we wanted to take the opportunity to talk about some of the steps Osborne Thomas has taken:
- We have recently become members of the Workplace Mental Health Charter and will be utilising this in our business strategies moving forward
- We have THREE Mental Health First Aiders – Maria, Sinead, and Zelakah
- Jordan is currently studying, along with her full-time job, to be a counsellor which will enable her to utilise this professional training within a work capacity
- Zero Suicide Alliance – Zelakah has completed both modules of this training
- Due to our 100% remote working function the business acknowledges that staff may face a higher risk of loneliness/anxiety so has incorporated regular meet-ups, social activities, funding available for staff to work outside of their homes, regular 121s and check-ins – and now that the business has grown rapidly wellbeing will be an even bigger factor in business planning.
Like all of us, we have room to grow in this area but it’s definitely high up on our agenda – is it on yours?