MINDFUL EMPLOYER LEEDS GUEST BLOG FOR 300 NORTH

    Let’s keep the mental health and wellbeing conversation going in our workplaces!

    Everyone has mental health, in the same way that we all have physical health. At times we can struggle to maintain good physical health due to different reasons, such as being too busy and tired to fit in a trip to the gym, or to cook dinner so we order a takeaway. Similarly, we have to work at maintaining good mental health where certain factors might make this a challenge. The workplace can often be an environment of high pressure and stress with impending deadlines and the expectations of exceeding targets. This atmosphere can be challenging for people experiencing mental health difficulties and create barriers to accessing the right support from their employers. 

    For too long it has been expected that people who experience mental health difficulties should take the lead in talking about mental health. It’s a few months on from Time to Talk Day, which took place in February, and aimed to encourage everyone to take responsibility for starting conversations on mental health in the spaces available to us; including our workplaces.

    It was great to see local Mindful Employers in Leeds promoting Time to Talk Day and engaging their staff and colleagues through tea & talk sessions, coffee mornings, information sessions and by promoting a range of online resources. Creating supportive environments in which colleagues feel able to openly discuss mental health difficulties is an important way that employers can actively break down the barriers that prevent colleagues from seeking and receiving the support they need to thrive and flourish in their workplace. This is crucial in reducing, and ultimately eradicating, the stigma around mental health.

    Mindful Employer Leeds collaborated with Leeds City Council to run a series of information stalls across key locations, including Merrion House in the city centre and Navigation House in south Leeds. The aim of these stalls was to encourage conversations about mental health in the workplace, direct managers towards the Mindful Employer Leeds 10 Step Toolkit and to provide advice on resources and services that individuals can access to support themselves and their colleagues.
    The 10 Step Toolkit, developed in Leeds by employers for employers, is a starting point and framework for organisations to embed good practice and keep the mental health and wellbeing conversation going. It is an online resource which provides suggested actions, case studies and links to resources which will help you to work towards an open and positive culture towards mental health in your organisation.

    Other resources and services that we promoted included:
    • Mindwell, a one-stop shop for mental health support for the people of Leeds
    • Leeds Crisis Cards, a great resource for managers to signposting colleagues to support
    • Leeds Mind Peer Support Programme provide a wide range of courses and workshops
    • Public Health Resource Centre for free access to interactive games & resources for support
    • Mental Health Foundation booklets which advise on how to ‘Look After Your Mental Health’

    For tips on how to celebrate upcoming national mental health events (such as World Mental Health Day in October) sign up to the Mindful Employer Leeds Newsletter by emailing mindfulemployer@leedsmind.org.uk or look at http://www.mindfulemployer.net/.

    300 North would like to thank Martha Clowes from Mindful Employer Leeds for her Guest Blog this month.

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