World Mental Health Day 2018 – Workplace activity ideas and resources

Doesn’t time fly? It only seems five minutes since I was promoting World Mental Health Day 2017 and here we are again now in the run up to World Mental Health Day 2018!

So with that in mind I’m letting people know nice and early that World Mental Health Day 2018 will be happening on Wednesday 10th October (FYI it’s on 10th October every year) and whilst this year’s theme is young people, the day is still an ideal opportunity for any organisation to raise awareness about mental health. Even more so if you work with young people in a school, college or as a training provider or employ young people like apprentices.

Why? Because we all have mental health and one in four of us with have mental health problems in any one year and in the workplace this prevalence increases to almost one in three employees. This means it’s very likely either you or someone you know has experienced mental health problems this year. So why wouldn’t you want to do something? Think better wellbeing, better business!

That’s why I’m taking this opportunity to encourage you, your employers and employees to start thinking NOW about doing something to mark World Mental Health Day 2018 and get your staff involved and customers too.

There are lots of simple, affordable and no-cost activities and campaigns you could do at your workplace. The biggest thing you can give as an employer is your time and commitment to put mental health on the agenda, tackle the stigma surrounding mental health and show you care about the wellbeing of your staff.  And you if you haven’t done that already then see World Mental Health Day 2018 as your opportunity to start the journey!

Free (mostly) activity and event ideas:

Here are just a few suggestions of some things you could do and encourage your colleagues to get involved with this World Mental Health Day 2018:

Stand up for mental health!
Have a stand, notice board or focal point at your workplace and make it clear why you’re doing it (i.e. “Today is World Mental Health Day 2018”). Have information about mental health and wellbeing tips which colleagues can read and take away if they want.

We’ve put together a special ‘World Mental Health Day 2018’ resource section on our website where you can download lots of excellent resources to share with your staff and promote greater mental health awareness among your colleagues. All are available to download from the Dudley Mind website here.

You can also download and print off information from Mind’s website or see our ‘stress’ page at dudleymind.org.uk/stress with links to lots of helpful resources and tools about stress and mental health.

Share the information via your intranet and internal communication channels too so it’s available to anyone at different times and so colleagues from other locations can access the information too.

You may have noticed a lot of the resources are from Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)? It’s worth mentioning we can deliver the full range of MHFA workplace training courses and others too. Click here for more info.

Coffee and chat (or Tea and talk)
Encourage your colleagues and employees to hold a coffee and chat event, giving them an opportunity to chat and mingle socially over a cuppa and some cake (or tea and toast or samosas, you get the idea right?). You don’t have to talk about mental health but make people aware it’s why you’re doing it. And if it goes well, maybe it’s something you could do more often to promote good staff wellbeing? The Mental Health Foundation has produced a really useful guide to organising a Tea and Talk event. Download the guide from our website.

De-stress wall
What’s a de-stress tree you’re wondering? It’s a simple and easy way to get your colleagues to get involved by sharing their tips for how they de-stress. All you need to do is find yourself a noticeboard or wall. Using Mind’s ‘When I’m stressed’ notes encourage your staff to fill out a note (or more if they if they want) and share their top tips on how to reduce stress, feel good and relax. Then collate all the tips together and share them with your colleagues.

You can download the ‘When I’m stressed’ notes from our website

Wellbeing Walk
Organise a short (i.e. 20-60 minutes) lunch time walk in your team or department and encourage your colleagues to join in. Whatever the weather (fingers crossed it’s dry!) it’s a great way to get people up and away from their desks to enjoy some gentle exercise and recharge their minds as well as their bodies.

If you’re in the Black Country then you’re probably not far from a local park or the canal network so you could always make those part of your route.

Take the pledge
As an employer you could mark World Mental Health Day 2018 by signing up to Time to Change Employer Pledge and demonstrate your commitment to change how you think and act about mental health at your workplace. Signing up takes just a few minutes online and you can do so right here.

Out friends at Time to Change have also produced a fab information guide about planning activities to mark World Mental Health Day. It’s also free to download from our website.

Be social
Share what you’re doing on your social media channels leading up to and on the day and help spread the word about mental health in the workplace. Feel free to tag us on Twitter @DudleyMind1.

Voila! These are just my ‘starter for ten’ ideas to help get you thinking and encourage you to do something to mark World Mental Health Day 2018. We’ve given you some ideas and access to lots of free resources to get you going so if you start planning it now, you’ve got plenty of time and no excuses! What are you waiting for?

Finally, if you’ve found these ideas helpful (of course you have!) please consider making a donation to Dudley Mind and encourage your colleagues to do the same. Donating to us is easy – just visit dudleymind.org.uk/donate for all the ways to donate or give us a call on 01384 442938.

Wishing you a happy and engaging World Mental Health Day 2018!

Mark Evans
Marketing & Partnerships Officer

#mentalhealth #worldmentalhealthday2018 #HR