World Mental Health Day 2018: four voices – Mental Health At Work
10/10/2018

World Mental Health Day 2018: four voices

Ewan Main

One of the Senior Content Officers for this site, based at Mind.

With any luck you’ll have noticed that today, 10th October, is World Mental Health Day. The theme for 2018 is a fascinating and important one—Young people and mental health in a changing world—and we’re looking forward to seeing what different people make of it.

There’s a limit to how much a work-based site like this one can entirely reflect that theme, though. Our 100% digital, mobile-optimised nature helps, of course. And we’re certainly a response to the changing world of mental health: there’s more appetite than ever to consider the topic, and more resources and ideas than ever to help with that; we’re trying to connect the two sides together.

How do we make our workplaces, and our teams, supportive and welcoming ones to join?

But actually, young staff enter our workforces every day. And given that—especially in organisations with a defined career structure or an active graduate or apprenticeship programme—the younger staff will often be the newer ones, a relevant question is: how do we make our workplaces, and our teams, supportive and welcoming ones to join?

To mark the first World Mental Health Day since this site launched, we invited four key people to contribute blogs highlighting the work they’ve been doing and the thinking behind them. And it’s my pleasure to introduce them here.

To begin with, Business in the Community‘s Wellbeing Director Louise Aston introduces us to the brand new Mental Health at Work 2018 report​Mental Health at Work Report 2018: Seizing the Momentum PDF 1 0 This report follows a third annual survey conducted by YouGov into employee mental health. It reveals that financial insecurity is a major factor in poor mental health for UK workers, and presents calls to action for employers.Free By: Business in the Community View resource, produced in conjunction with Mercer and released just this week. She writes that, while businesses are increasingly making commitments to mental health, words aren’t enough: it’s time to take action and make noticeable changes, especially in areas like financial literacy and job insecurity. Time To Change Director Jo Loughran summarises their work to lower stigma and encourage conversation, and in particular their fantastic new Ask Twice​Ask Twice Web page 0 0 Sometimes we say we’re fine when we’re not. If your colleague is acting differently, ask twice. The simple act of asking again, with interest, can help someone to open up for the first time.Free By: Time to Change View resource campaign. It’s a simple message: ask someone how they are and they’ll say “I’m fine.” So ask them again—how are you really?

We talk a lot about organisations... so it's all the more valuable to remind ourselves of real-life individual experiences whenever we can.

We’re delighted to welcome Samaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland, shining a spotlight on the Wellbeing in the City​Wellbeing in the City Web page 0 0 Wellbeing in the City is a free online wellbeing programme that gives employees the skills they need to manage their own emotional health, and to support those around them, well before those feelings reach crisis point.FreeSign up for free to access By: Samaritans View resource learning tool they developed with The Lord Mayor’s Appeal. She writes about the clear value of teaching people to consider the emotional health of themselves and those around them, given the huge range of issues, in and out of the workplace, that can affect it. And finally, Project Manager of This is Me at The Lord Mayor’s Appeal, Rose Grissell shares some of the amazing success of the Green Ribbon Campaign​The Green Ribbon Campaign Web page 0 0 The Green Ribbon Campaign encourages organisations to invite their employees to wear a green ribbon during Mental Health Awareness Week to help end the stigma around mental health.Paid for By: The Lord Mayor’s Appeal View resource and encourages us all to take part. She introduces the lived experience of a Bank of England employee talking about the difference it made to be in a workplace where these issues were on the table for conversation. We talk a lot here about workplaces, organisations, employers and teams—so it’s all the more valuable to remind ourselves of these real-life individual experiences whenever we can.

Ask Twice​Ask Twice Web page 0 0 Sometimes we say we’re fine when we’re not. If your colleague is acting differently, ask twice. The simple act of asking again, with interest, can help someone to open up for the first time.Free By: Time to Change View resource and The Green Ribbon Campaign​The Green Ribbon Campaign Web page 0 0 The Green Ribbon Campaign encourages organisations to invite their employees to wear a green ribbon during Mental Health Awareness Week to help end the stigma around mental health.Paid for By: The Lord Mayor’s Appeal View resource share something important in common: they’re about the smallest of things an individual can do, just to signal to others that it’s OK to talk about how you’re feeling. Simple ways of looking out for each other. Wellbeing in the City​Wellbeing in the City Web page 0 0 Wellbeing in the City is a free online wellbeing programme that gives employees the skills they need to manage their own emotional health, and to support those around them, well before those feelings reach crisis point.FreeSign up for free to access By: Samaritans View resource takes things further: building skills, confidence and understanding to keep the conversation going. It’s about permission to take care of each other and of ourselves. And the Mental Health at Work report​Mental Health at Work Report 2018: Seizing the Momentum PDF 1 0 This report follows a third annual survey conducted by YouGov into employee mental health. It reveals that financial insecurity is a major factor in poor mental health for UK workers, and presents calls to action for employers.Free By: Business in the Community View resource from Business in the Community shows that the need for this is as urgent as ever—and highlights measures that organisations can, and should, take.

Clear permission to talk about our mental health; colleagues who’ll really listen when we do; the skills to support ourselves and others; and committed action from those with the opportunity to take it. In a constantly changing world, all have a part to play. Our thanks to Louise, Rose, Jo and Ruth for their blogs—and I hope you’ll take some time to read them all at some point today.