From our Big Hug, to our take 10 at 10 events, not only have our own people been talking more about mental health, but we’ve even been joined by our clients and supply chain too. We’re thrilled that everyone joined in to help share the message – that’s it’s OK not to be OK, and what really needs to happen now is for those conversations to continue.
Mental Health Awareness Week is a fantastic event, but we need to keep talking about mental health long after this week is done. That’s the only way we are going to remove the stigma and get more people to ask for the help they need.
As well as being the right thing to do, there is a real business benefit to taking care of our people. According to research from the Centre for Mental Health carried out in 2017, the overall cost of mental health problems to UK employers was almost £35billion, so taking care of our people’s minds, as well as their bodies, is our duty as responsible employers.
Healthy body, healthy mind
The links between mental and physical health are evident, and in recent times there has been movement towards healthcare professionals considering their patient’s mental health when treating a physical condition and vice versa.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, people with the highest levels of self-rated stress were 32% more likely to have died from cancer. Depression has also been associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease.
There is also significant research into the link between social relationships and mental/physical health, with findings showing that the three components have a significant impact on each other.
A new approach
At Seddon we’re looking at the whole person, creating an occupational health package that supports total wellbeing. We start with the very basics, with each employee receiving an annual health check from our partners at Crossland.
We are also working to support the team’s mental wellbeing with a variety of additional support initiatives. First and foremost, we have Jordan’s Conversation, our mental health toolbox talk, and we’re not only offering this to our direct workforce, but to our supply chain too. We’re also partnering with Aviva on our employee assistance programme, offering confidential advice and support on a variety of topics, including work, relationships, finance, diet and lifestyle; there is also access to trained counsellors 24-7.
Alongside this, we run our Ministry of Fun events, a calendar of fundraising activities and just-for-fun events. These are designed to get our people interacting with each other outside of the typical 9-5. Activities include fun runs, bake offs and the occasional pub quiz.
Changing the culture
Our final area of focus is around creating a working environment that fosters personal development and growth. Work has begun in earnest on our ‘work is a thing you do, not a place you go’ initiative, as we aim to make operations paper-less and digi-full. We are also looking at how we can empower our people to take control of their development by introducing a culture based on behaviours and coaching.
We’ll be rounding off Mental health Awareness Week with a charity event, promoting the theme of healthy body healthy mind. Around 120 team members, family and friends will be taking on the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge this weekend (17th May) to raise money for the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Homelessness Fund, one of our charities of choice.
If you’d like to support the team, you can access our fundraising page via the following link:
Written by Peter Jackson, Managing Director of Seddon.