Why it's always time to talk Mental Health!
At our staff meeting on Monday 29 January we had a group session exploring how Twining Enterprise can ensure that it is doing the absolute most to support staff mental health and wellbeing. As part of that we had group discussions about the Happiness at Work Manifesto.
Here's a photo of the staff enjoying lunch together an important part of our commitment to principle 9: I may spend most of my waking hours at work I want to make those hours count.
We also make sure that we start our team meetings with check ins about how people are feeling as well as what they are doing.
In South London in Greenwich and Lewisham at our J2E groups our Employment Specialist Caitlin said:
"We discuss mental health every week. Every week, we set a small action, as we appreciate for those with mental health issues, setting small goals are far more achievable than really big and long term goals. That's why at the end of every weekly group, everyone sets a small action which we then discuss the following group."
When you work in a mental health charity even if you aren't an expert it sparks conversations wherever you go as our Employment Specialist in Haringey shared:
"Outside of work it's something that tends to crop up with friends and other people. I imagine it's a bit like doctors get asked to look at someone's rash or IT bods get asked about to have a look at someone's troublesome laptop, once they know your line of work people are generally quite interested. Just this week there was an article about Rodrigo Alves who has had repeated plastic surgery to make him look like a walking Ken doll. He looks strange it has to be said, but this triggered an important conversation with a friend of mine about mental health and about body image and body dysmorphia. This good looking guy, in my eyes at least, had multiple hang-ups about his body and his looks that make him feel depressed and lacking confidence in public. My jaw was on the floor at first but it led to a conversation about how everyone likes different things in a man or woman and I was able to tell him that he had many physical attributes people aspire to. The conversation moved to him being single for years and I suggested his low mood and self-esteem were problematic he could self refer to his local IAPT. Where someone would listen to how he was feeling and what the triggers are, and that they would be able to give valuable help with coping strategies. Well I didn't expect him to actually pick up the phone but he has, so that's a very positive result."
Another colleague shared how she went out for dinner with a friend who is a teacher and she was sharing with me about how her school are trying to raise awareness of mental health both in the pupils and also in the staff. We met at a Prezzo when we had this conversation!
We hope our few examples demonstrate that you truly can have a conversation about mental health anywhere at work or in your leisure time and something as simple as celebrity gossip can be the spark for life improving conversations about mental health. That's why we are supporting Time to Talk 2018 this 1 February and why we urge you to join in.