One week after launch – what’s next?

Ewan Main

Product Manager, Mental Health at Work

I have a proud announcement to make: Mental Health at Work was one week old yesterday! (They grow up so fast, don’t they?)

It was last week, 11 September, that we excitedly unveiled Mental Health at Work at a fantastic launch event at Engine Shed in Bristol. It’s a great space that honours Bristol’s industrial history and its connections with Brunel specifically, so a perfect spot to talk about employment and its effect on people’s lives.

Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, standing at a podium addressing an audience at the launch of the Mental Health at Work website

We received a very warm welcome from Marvin Rees, the Mayor of Bristol. We demonstrated the site to everyone who would look and met a wide range of the people and organisations behind the ever-increasing list of resources we’ve included. We saw presentations and panel discussions from people with lived experience of mental health issues and people who have been active in driving forward the workplace mental health agenda in one way or another. Rounding off the day, there were some lovely words and inspiring messages from Paul Farmer (CEO of Mind), Lorraine Heggessey (CEO of The Royal Foundation), António Horta Osório (CEO of Lloyd’s Banking Group) and The Duke of Cambridge.

It will have so much more, and will be so much more

There was a really positive atmosphere, lots of enthusiastic comments and some great media coverage. In the room, on TV and radio up and down the country, and all over the internet, people were saying: “This is the place to come, and you’ll find everything you need.” A lovely sentiment—but, respectfully, I disagree. This is just a starting point. It doesn’t have everything you need. But it will have so much more, and will be so much more.

From now on, we will of course be adding more resources, case studies and testimonials. We’re thinking about more ways people can learn from each other too. There’s a great appetite for template policies (if you have one you’d be interested in sharing, let us know), as well as other examples of what employers have done. Plus, now that we have thousands of people using the site, the process begins of seeing how it works for people—from identifying gaps to tweaking algorithms behind the scenes.

As for specifics, we’ve got a few things we’re working on right now, which you’ll see in the coming few days. (I’ll update the links in this article when they appear.) The next few resources we’re adding are really diverse: from information from our newest partner The Lord Mayor’s Appeal The Lord Mayor’s Appeal The Lord Mayor's Appeal brings businesses, communities and charities together to address London’s key societal issues. View organisation on their This is Me​This is Me Web page This is Me is a business-led campaign to support organisations, and their employees, to talk about mental health. It encourages people with experience of a mental health problem, whether their own or of a loved one, to share their stories.Free By: The Lord Mayor’s Appeal View resource and Green Ribbon​The Green Ribbon Campaign Web page The Green Ribbon Campaign encourages organisations to invite their employees to wear a green ribbon during Mental Health Awareness Week and on other significant dates, to help end the stigma around mental health.Paid for By: The Lord Mayor’s Appeal View resource campaigns and their Wellbeing in the City resource; to the Acas framework for positive mental health at work​The Acas framework for positive mental health at work PDF Employers, managers and individuals can work together towards a shared goal of positive wellbeing and productive workplaces. The Acas framework is an accessible, easy way to think about the part that each can play and how they fit together.Free By: Acas View resource; to several more examples of workplace training and services offered by local Minds around the country. After that, there are hundreds more resources waiting to be worked through, written up, categorised and quality assured.

As well as new resources, you’ll see many more real-life testimonials around the site, and we have several blogs and a case study describing the Green Ribbon campaign on the way. And any day now we’ll be sending out the first of our newsletters to keep people involved and up to date. You can sign up on the front page and we’ll be in touch.

It's fantastic to be where we are. But this is where the work really starts

All in all, it’s been a great start. We’ve been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm for this, and by the sterling efforts that brought us this far (a special shout out to The Royal Foundation for being with us all the way and organising an amazing launch day, and to Thompson Brand Partners who did the design, development and general behind-the-scenes brilliance). Yes, it’s fantastic to be where we are. But this is where the work really starts. Stay tuned!

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