World Mental Health Day 2017

Tuesday 10th October is World Mental Health Day and the theme for this year’s day is mental health in the workplace. 

So that’s why I’m taking this opportunity to encourage employers to start thinking now about doing something to mark World Mental Health Day and get your staff involved.

Whatever your role, whatever the size of your organisation or industry, mental health affects us all so please encourage your employer to get involved. 

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 tackling the stigma around mental health and to show you care about the mental wellbeing of your staff.

Here are just a few suggestions of things you could do and encourage your staff to get involved in:

Coffee and chat (or Tea and talk) – Encourage your employees to hold a coffee and chat event, giving them an opportunity to chat and mingle socially over a coffee and cake. The Mental Health Foundation has produced a really useful guide to organising a Tea and Talk event. Download a copy of the guide here.

Grow a mental health tree – What’s one of those? you’re asking. Well, it’s simply a drawing of a tree with lots of leaves on it. Encourage your staff to get creative and design a mental health tree wall art where each leaflet represents a thought or idea about mental health. The real aim is to encourage your staff to share their thoughts or ideas about mental health on a leaf and put it on the tree. Perhaps you could ask your staff “What does mental health mean to you?” or “How could we improve mental health ?” as a prompt to get them thinking. The tree could become a powerful visual display of what mental health means to your employees. 

Get active – organise a lunch time walk and encourage your staff to join in. Whatever the weather, it’s a great way to get people up and away from their desks to recharge their minds as well as their bodies.

Share information – let your staff know it’s World Mental Health Day and share information about mental health and how staff can improve their own wellbeing. For example, you could share our Five Ways to Wellbeing guide – it’s free to download from our downloads page.

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

Take the pledge – As an employer you could sign up to Time to Change Employer Pledge and demonstrate your commitment to change how we think and act about mental health in the workplace. Sign up here. Wolverhampton-based Connect Group have signed the pledge so why not follow their lead? 

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

These are just some ideas to help get you thinking and encourage you to do something to mark World Mental Health Day. And if you start planning it now, you’ve got plenty of time. I encourage every employer to do something and make a commitment to better mental health at work. 

If you’d like to discuss your ideas, give me (Mark Evans) a shout as I’d love to hear your plans – 01384 442938.

#mentalhealth #timetochange #worldmentalhealthday