Life is hard. Money worries, illness, work, relationship troubles - it all gets us down. So today, on World Mental Health Day, we wanted to let our staff know it’s okay to not be okay.
In our usual spot in KC’s, we set up our stall and asked our employees to let us know what mental health means to them.
Whether they deal with it themselves, or have to watch their loved ones suffer. What does that feel like? What does that look like?
They each took a slip and, anonymously, told us what mental health looked like in their lives. You can see from the image above some of the things they shared with us.
Others used the slip to offer advice to their fellow employees of ways they could deal with the troubles they face:
“Take everything step by step. Don’t overwork yourself. Do what’s best for you; don’t always put everyone else first. It’s okay to be selfish sometimes!”
“Get support if you’re helping someone with mental health. Don’t deal with it on your own. Speak to friends and family, go online. There’s help out there for you.”
And it’s true.
There is a wealth of support for people suffering with mental health problems, whether that be online, or with dedicated organisations or charities.
As a business we have also taken a number of steps to ensure that our staff can access support services to help them deal with any issues they may be facing.
Danielle Nash is our Employee Engagement Officer, and staff can send her private messages if they want to talk in confidence. Alternatively, if someone wants to have a face to face chat, they can book a session with her in our quiet room.
To make sure that our male employees have someone they can talk to in confidence, we sent Daniel Davies on a course to become a qualified mental health first aider:
“Being given the opportunity to become a mental health first aider really means a lot to me. I look back to how low and alone I have previously felt, and I think some of my colleagues may be in the same situation and I want to help them. The statistics for suicide in young men is shocking. I would like to think that if someone at work was struggling, they would come and talk to me before it got too much for them.”
We also want to encourage our employees to talk about their feelings, openly and unashamedly, in our ‘Tea and Talk’ drop in sessions.
We will be inviting a member of the Torfaen Mind team, along with our qualified mental health first aiders Danielle and Daniel, to our first meeting next Wednesday 17th October.
These sessions will be a safe space for our staff, and their partners, to talk about the problems they are facing. We will be offering advice and support, and suggesting services they could access to help them cope with mental health issues; whether it’s themselves or someone they know who are struggling.
We also offer resilience training which is open to all our employees. This aims to help staff build resilience in their personal and professional life. It helps teach strategies to adapt to change and manage stress.
It was great to hear the positive feedback from the staff about the steps we are taking to improve the mental health and wellbeing of our employees.
“Knowing that we have resources in our workplace to help us gives me a lot of comfort.”
We hope that if any of our employees are struggling to cope with any of life’s stresses they will use the services at their disposal. To find out any more information about anything discussed in this blog then speak to Danielle Nash, and remember it’s okay not to be okay!