For most people, work is big part of their life. It’s where we spend most of our time – earn an income, developing ourselves professionally and building relationships. Having positive experiences at work will have a significant influence on our overall wellbeing.
Our mental stability has come into sharp focus this year, as the world tackles the COVID-19 outbreak which left many of us feeling anxious about how it has and may continue to impact our present and future. It is only natural that it will affect our mental health in various ways. Overnight it forced us to rethink and reinvent how we can find mental clarity amongst the noise and come to terms with the new restrictions put in place to protect public health. Every facet of our lives has been impacted, which in turn has direct implications on our resilience to breakthrough and achieve mental ease.
The Health Foundation in a recent article specified that the most common issues affecting mental wellbeing are anxieties concerning the future (63%) and feelings associated with stress or anxiety (56%). Right now, more than two-thirds of adults in the UK (69%) report feelings of concern which is an effect of COVID-19 – it’s no surprise that our mental wellbeing is now at the forefront of our, and many other organisations’, people agenda.
Recognising the opportunity to support our people through what is arguably a really challenging time; the leadership team and managers at Namos Solutions were all asked to complete mental health training through MHFA England.
MHFA England courses aim to support people’s understanding and awareness of mental health and shares the help, support and resources needed to assist someone who is experiencing mental health issues.
Anna Clarke CPO: “It’s just as important as physical first aid skills and I’m proud that as an organisation we’ve equipped our leaders with the tools and knowledge to assist and support their peers and teams. Something I’ve also noticed recently, is an increase in mental health becoming a topic in everyday conversations I’m having with others within the business. It feels like a positive shift and one I’m actively encouraging and participating in.”
It is often the small changes that individuals make that can have the biggest impact. Our HE Lead, Richard Clayton, reflects on this in his recent blog post about the changes he has made to his working habits following his MHFA England mental health training. If we each made small changes today it can have a big impact on others. A simple check in or ‘how are you?’ and really listening to the response can change the course of someone’s day. Jerry Seager, COO said: “One of the key takeaways for me [from the MHFA training] was the art of listening and the little time we spend developing this skill. Being aware of the spoken and unspoken signals associated with mental wellbeing will enable me to be supportive of my colleagues and allow me to tailor my interactions with them as the situation requires.”
Even when working remotely, Namos are encouraging the team to stay connected and supportive of each other regardless of the changing landscape:
- We hold bi-weekly Virtual Pub sessions to give an opportunity for colleagues to connect in an informal setting and un-wind at the end of the day.
- ‘The Culture Club’ was set up in August and is made up of a cross section of staff from all across the business. The club meet monthly to discuss events and ideas for colleagues to participate in. At first, we hosted a Poker Night to raise money for our nominated charity, AngelmanUK – next up, a Namos Virtual Indian Cooking Night!
- We have recently completed StepTember, an active ‘steps’ challenge which many of our staff signed up to. We had weekly targets and challenges for the most steps and some great (friendly!) competition. Physical activity can support a healthy mind and overall wellbeing, so it is something we actively promote to our team.
- We encourage open dialogue and an open-door policy for anyone within the organisation to reach out if they need support.
- Supporting and encouraging healthy boundaries between home and work life is also really important, especially as our remote working is set to continue for some time.
It’s all about connection, support and kindness. Kindness is king. You never truly know what someone else is going through, so the default should always be to be kind.
Have you asked someone how they are today..?