Taking the time to listen
Looking after our mental health is an important part of ensuring we live a happy and healthy life. Considering how much time we spend at work, it is no surprise that our workplace environment plays a significant part in our overall wellbeing. So, at Smart Space, we believe that it's vital that every individual member of our team is looked after.
Getting the environment right
We've recently moved premises which has allowed us to do a few things - we have a much larger kitchen and dining area now with great facilities. This means our teams can get together, cook if they want to and enjoy some down time in comfort. We also have a gym which is open to everyone. We have a great visiting yoga instructor who runs classes - again, these are open to everyone.
However, our environment is just part of what makes a healthy work culture so we're continuing to explore ways in which we can improve. Talking, listening and exploring any concerns is important so we are working hard to put things in place to help us work together productively whilst making sure we look out for each other at the same time.
Working with St John's Ambulance
We were keen to be involved with the St John’s Ambulance Mental Health First Aid courses to learn the necessary skills and knowledge to be able to help colleagues who might need support, on any level, with their mental health at work. St John's Ambulance deservedly enjoys a fantastic reputation in looking after the health of the nation - and not just at sporting events which is where many of us see their first aid facilities in action!
Seven members of staff attended
Four members of our team, Jason Lynock, Shaun Stephens, Andy Green and Corrie Douglas attended the Mental Health Workplace Responders course. It is designed to provide the skills and knowledge around numerous mental health conditions to promote positive attitudes towards mental health in the workplace, and to encourage open discussions around mental health so immediate support can be available where necessary. The course also outlines how to signpost to appropriate external services for additional support.
A further three members of the team: Matt Lymer, Russell Slater and Andy Freeman, took part in the Mental Health Workplace First Aider 2-day course to become Mental Health Workplace First Aiders. By completing this course, they have gained an indepth understanding of mental health and the factors that can affect wellbeing, the skills to recognise the triggers and signs of mental illnesses and an understanding of how to perform some imperative physical first aid as part of the response to mental illness.
Gaining the right skills
Importantly, in addition, they learnt the skills to create a positive mental health culture at work. This is more than a tick box exercise, it's all about filtering the importance of mental health throughout the company so everyone feels it is a topic they can air, explore and find help with. At every level and for every mental health challenge, big or small, it's vital that everyone knows where to go to access help.
We believe that by having members of our team who are specifically trained to cope with and provide assistance to individuals who require mental health support, this will enable the positive promotion of having open conversations about our mental health, in a safe and supportive environment. By creating this environment members of our team should feel confident and comfortable enough to seek the required help where necessary, whether that be a simple conversation, or a more robust wellbeing support plan, to ensure that everyone’s wellbeing at work is the best it can be.