World Mental Health Day is celebrated on October 10th every year to raise awareness of mental health issues and encourage people to seek help if they need it. It is also a day to celebrate the progress that has been made in mental health care and to advocate for greater support for people with mental illness.

Cultivating a Mentally Healthy Workplace

Mental health is just as important as physical health, and it can have a significant impact on our performance at work. At Citizen, we understand the significance of this issue, and we’re taking proactive steps to ensure our team’s well-being. One initiative that we support is the role of Mental Health First Aiders. Our account manager, Emily, is currently refreshing her mental health first aid qualification with the Mental Health Foundation. 

The Importance of Mental Health First Aiders at Work

1 in 4 people will experience a mental health difficulty at some point in their lives. These challenges can affect every aspect of an individual’s life. Given that we spend a significant portion of our lives in the workplace, it’s crucial to have someone we can turn to when our mental health needs attention.

Sometimes, it’s easier to confide in a colleague who understands your work environment and the pressures it entails. Having a mental health first aider in the workplace can provide a safe and empathetic space for employees to discuss their well-being. It’s a bridge that can help individuals overcome the hesitation or stigma that sometimes surrounds reaching out to mental health professionals.

Becoming a Mental Health Champion 

Fostering a mentally healthy workplace involves a collective effort. Here’s how you can become a mental health champion at work and at home:

1. Educate Yourself

Take the initiative to educate yourself about mental health issues, their signs, and the available resources. This knowledge will enable you to signpost colleagues, friends and family members towards the necessary support they need. Here are some websites we recommend.

2. Be Approachable

Create an environment where colleagues feel comfortable discussing their well-being with you. Listening without judgment can go a long way in making others feel heard and supported.

3. Promote Resources

Share information about available mental health resources. Whether it’s print outs for a notice board, an internal email campaign, a text or share on social media.

4. Encourage Self-Care

Emphasise the importance of self-care practices to all. Encourage breaks, mindfulness, and stress management techniques to help maintain a healthy work-life balance.

The Importance of Self-Care

Let’s talk a little more about self-care. It’s not just about being there for others, it’s about taking care of your own mental health too. Remember that you can only offer support to others when you’re in a good place yourself. Just as flight attendants instruct passengers to put on their own oxygen masks before assisting, the concept of self-care follows a similar principle.

Here are our top 10 tips for self-care at work:

  1. Make sure you take breaks to avoid burnout
  2. Drink plenty of water and eat well
  3. Prioritise tasks to stay organised
  4. Set boundaries – learn to say no
  5. Take your holiday
  6. Go for a walk
  7. Interact with colleagues
  8. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
  9. Reflect and adjust
  10. Disconnect after work

Having a mental health first aider in the workplace is a significant step toward creating a mentally healthy environment. However, it’s equally important for everyone to contribute to this effort by becoming mental health champions, promoting resources, and prioritising their own self-care. By working together, you can create a workplace where mental well-being is valued and supported, benefiting us all.