October 9, 2019 by NKD
Recently I came across the fact that staff turnover, sickness and lost productivity resulting from poor mental health cost UK employers £42bn in 2017 – even without juggling with numbers all day, I can tell that this is a lot. It’s time to talk about that – we’re taking the opportunity to do so on this year’s World Mental Health Day on the 10th October.
An even more tangible fact is that 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives – and it is estimated that only 25% of those receive support each year. It is very likely that you and I know someone who is affected by a mental health problem or we may suffer from one at some point in our lives ourselves. To put that back in to context of work, 56% (more than half!) of employees say stress and anxiety impact their job performance. Sound relatable?
Having that in mind, I am absolutely astonished by the fact, that the stigma, discrimination and silence is still widely spread around mental health issues. Nearly 9 out of 10 people with mental health problems have been affected by stigma and discrimination. According to the National Mental Health Development Unit this can be as bad as the mental health problem itself.
World Mental Health Day
So enough with the facts – it is time to make a difference!
As a company, as an employer, as an employee, as a manager, as a colleague and – simply – as a friend.
Take today, the 10th October, as an opportunity to raise awareness, to fight the stigma, to share your story, to implement a support system or to reach out to someone you trust.
We spend so much time at work (5 days a week, 46 weeks of the year, 90,000 hours, for 45 years of our life, to be specific – watch our video on why we’re determined to make the world of work better here) – there is a certain responsibility to take care of our mental health at work as an employer, as well as an employee! Not only for the people around us, but for ourselves.
But where to start?
Alright, we talked about the facts and we’ve decided that we really want to make a difference in our company. But where to start? The following points will give you some ideas on how to begin – tested by our people and classified as NKD proven!
- SHARE – Spread the message about mental health and make it a priority in your workplace. Factsheets and collateral to raise awareness or sharing informational videos on your work-internal social media platforms or intranet. It’s all about helping people to talk about mental health and whilst becoming more sensitive to the issues faced by others. Time to change launched the ‘Ask Twice’ Campaign, which addresses the topic in a humorous, light way, easy to digest and share – perfect to start off the journey! Click here to find the content.
- CONNECT – with your people at work. Check in with them. Create a safe, judgement free zone to connect with your colleagues, while fighting the stigma by doing so. At NKD, our NKD Kind team, who looks after our CSR activities, hosts a casual get together every two weeks to talk about recent topics, to get worries off our chests, to reach out and check in with each other over a cup of tea. No judgement allowed!
- SUPPORT – It’s all about making it last! Creating a lasting support system at work that encourages each other to constantly thrive rather than only survive. How about putting together toolkits on mental health, having monthly workshops, sport events, expert talks, offering professional help or everything at once – the options are endless! In our NKD office we create support in various ways by creating spaces for us to connect as a team, have fun and take time to prioritise our mental wellbeing. This could look like: yoga sessions, mindfulness workshops, crazy golf, summer walks and picnics, quarterly development and team bonding days and support can come just from knowing that you always have someone’s back, and they have yours. It really can be as simple as that.
Just keep in mind: it’s all about what works best for your people.
Do you have ideas in mind but you aren’t quite sure on how to tie them together? Give us a call on +44 (0) 203 4700 230 or hit the connect button below! We would love to support you on such an important topic that is so close to our heart.