Today marks the launch of Mental Health Awareness Week, the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health.
This year, the theme for the week is ‘Nature’. Across the country, people will be celebrating the mental health benefits of being around nature in their local community in a range of digital and creative ways. H&Askham have teams working in the UK and all over the world and we actively involve our teams in activities and initiatives to promote well being in the workplace, to ensure better mental health and mental health awareness.
Here are some of the ways we are supporting of Mental Health Awareness Week, much of these activities are carried out across the whole year, to actively encourage wellbeing in the workplace and that all-important work-life balance. Our teams work extremely hard, often in challenging environmental conditions and are regularly under pressure, working to tight deadlines to ensure we deliver world-leading services to our clients. At H&Askham we feel very strongly about our duty of care towards our staff, their mental and physical health is of paramount importance.
Some of the activities we carry out as an organisation to encourage the well being of our staff:
- Mental Health First Aider – Leigh Barker, H&Askham Bids & Compliance Manager is now a qualified Mental Health First Aider, on hand for staff in need of any support, whilst also keeping a watchful eye on everyone to make sure we are all looking after ourselves.
- RUNR Miles for Mind in support of MIND charity – our teams completed the February Miles for Mind, and we are now in the throws of May Miles for Mind, which encourages better mental health through running and walking in the fresh air, whilst also raising money for MIND charity. We have had another fantastic response for May, with a total of 25 members of the team signed up, pledging a total of 1675 miles, which they will complete throughout May, which is amazing! We will be covering progress on our social media channels so look out for updates!
- H&Askhams Giant Sunflower Challenge – we posted Sunflower seeds and launched our Giant Sunflower Challenge, encouraging staff to get out in the outdoors and get gardening, whilst also promoting some healthy competition and team spirit by awarding prizes for the best blooms! So far so good, watch this space!
- We want to do our bit to help with the UK’s ambitious net-zero ambitions. Much of the work we carry out is in the renewable energy sector, but we also extend our environmental commitments to the workplace and have recently launched a campaign to encourage staff to use Ecosia as their chosen search engine. Through Ecosia your searches can plant trees in some of the harshest places on Earth, planting trees where they’re needed most and every search counts. Over 123,930,670 trees have been planted so far through Ecosia. For anyone else that’s interested visit Ecosia to sign up ecosia.org
- To tie in with mental Health Awareness Week we are launching a weekly campaign to promote workplace well-being #MotivationalMonday #FeelGoodFriday, watch this space!
- H&Askham employees have access to a confidential telephone counselling service if they would like to talk to a trained counsellor about any worries they may be having, whether work-related or not.
- Finally, we work hard but we also play and reward with equal measure. We have staff rewards schemes, quiz nights and always make sure staff get seasonal goody bags and work and birthday shout outs! We truly care about the well being of our teams. #KeepingOur TeamsPowered is a twist on our main #KeepingYouPowered slogan!
Mark Rowland Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation said: “Mental Health Awareness Week” has grown to be one of the biggest awareness weeks in the UK. This year the theme is on nature and its central role in our mental health. Since the beginning of the pandemic, millions of us turned to nature to help us get through lockdowns and our research shows that good mental health depends on us being able to connect with nature in some way and its power in both prevention of and recovery from poor mental health.
“During the week, we want to hear millions of people’s stories about how the natural world has supported their mental health. We also want to highlight the huge disparities between who is and who isn’t able to access nature. We want the week to explore how everyone across the UK can connect with nature and experience the mental health benefits wherever they live.”
Here are some of the ways people can participate in Mental Health Awareness Week:
- During Mental Health Awareness Week, why not try to make a habit each day of connecting to nature in your local area? Stop to listen to the birdsong, smell the freshly cut grass, take care of a house plant, notice any trees, flowers or animals nearby. Take a moment to appreciate these connections.
- Share images/videos/or just sound recordings of nature on your doorstep (and how this made you feel) on social media using #ConnectWithNature and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek
- Use Mental Health Foundation resources in your family, school, workplace and community to join with thousands of people who will be finding new ways to connect with nature in their local environment.
For more information about this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week visit mentalhealth.org.uk/mhaw or join the conversation on social media using #ConnectWithNature and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek www.mentalhealth.org.uk