The Northampton Town Community Trust are supporting the new ‘My Whole Self’ campaign from Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England. The campaign (starting today, 18th March 2020) calls on organisations to empower employees to bring their whole self to work. It’s better for everyone’s mental wellbeing and better for business.
Research from the Mental Health Foundation states:
• Evidence suggests that 12.7% of all sickness absence days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions
• 1 in 6.8 people experience mental health problems in the workplace (14.7%)
• Better mental health support in the workplace can save UK businesses up to £8 billion per year.
Recently and to support the campaign, the Northampton Town Community Trust have implemented a number of simple strategies to help all staff better look after their mental health at work.
• All staff have completed the two day adult Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) which has enabled them to learn how to spot signs of negative mental health, how to signpost towards help, understand various mental health conditions and learning how to stay well.
• All staff completed a ‘Me profile’ which included information about how they like to work, how they can be supported, what makes them happy and any possible triggers for stress. These have been shared so the team can learn about each other.
• Mental health ‘check ins’ have been included in monthly 1-1 appraisal meetings, induction paperwork for new staff and time allocated within team meetings.
• The team have been using MH England’s ‘Take 10 together’ and #empowerhalfhour framework for simple ways to monitor mental health at work and encourage people to talk in a positive open atmosphere.
• The team use a ‘praise pot’ in the office which positive notes can be placed in during the week, to be shared at team meetings.
The result of this has been to create an open environment in which staff are more likely to speak up when they are struggling with stress, or ask for an informal ‘mental health check in’ if they need it. This includes keeping in contact with coaches and volunteers who are part time and out and about coaching sessions around the county. The team feel they are making a positive start in bringing their whole self to work, increasing awareness around mental health and looking out for their own and each other’s wellbeing.