Beyond the Event: Crafting a culture of wellness with proactive mental health strategies.  Awareness events play a crucial role in bringing the spotlight to mental wellness and the importance of taking care of our mental health. These events can spark conversations, raise awareness, and encourage people to seek help when needed. So, while looking at our wellbeing calendar for what's coming up, I learned that there is a lot going on in May it's; National Walking Month, World Laughter Day is the 5th, Mental Health Awareness Week, Learning at work and Black Inclusion Week are all from 13th to 19th and the 21st is World Meditation Day.   It is important to remember that real change comes from ongoing support and implementation of strategies beyond just the event itself. This may involve implementing mental health policies, providing ongoing training for staff, promoting open communication, and offering support services for employees. By, taking a proactive approach to mental health, companies can create a culture of wellbeing that benefits both employees and the organisation as a whole.  At Mindmaps Wellbeing, we understand the importance of Workplace Wellbeing and mental health support in today's fast-paced world. We are dedicated to providing the tools and guidance needed to create a positive and healthy work environment for all individuals. Our team at Mindmaps Wellbeing are here to support HR professionals, Managers, Health & Safety officers, Directors, Wellbeing leads, Business owners in creating a culture of mental wellness within their organisations. Through our tailored preventative training, guidance services, and resources we hold the tools to help you address mental health issues in the workplace and promote long-term change.   So, let's continue the conversation on mental health beyond the initial events, create lasting change, and prioritize the wellbeing of our workforce. Together, we can make a difference and create a more supportive and understanding workplaces for all. Let Mindmaps Wellbeing be your partner on this journey towards mental wellness.   

Mental Health First Aiders in the workplace; is it enough? 

With Learning at Work week being the 13th -19th May it feels appropriate to use my space this month to explore the question, is having mental health first aiders in the workplace enough to create a supportive and positive culture towards workplace wellness?  
What else can we do? 
The presence of mental health first aiders in the workplace is a significant step towards creating a supportive and positive culture for workplace wellness. These individuals are trained to identify signs of mental ill-health, provide initial support, and guide a person towards appropriate help. However, while they play a crucial role, they are just one component of a broader strategy needed to foster a truly supportive environment. 
Creating a positive workplace culture for mental health involves a comprehensive approach that includes:  
Leadership Commitment: is a crucial aspect of fostering a healthy workplace environment. When leaders prioritize mental health and demonstrate supportive behaviors, it sets a powerful example for the entire organisation. By openly acknowledging the importance of mental wellbeing, leaders create a culture where employees feel valued, understood, and encouraged to seek help when needed.  
Awareness and Education: Regular training and awareness programs can help reduce stigma and increase understanding. It's great having a mental health first aider in place for example but if an individual is unaware of their role so, often choose not to seek out help. In our experience individuals that have attended our awareness training are far more likely to ask for the help when they need it. Did you know across the UK approx only 3% of people make use of the Employee Assistance Programmes for any reason not just health related. It's a great resource but if people don't feel safe to approach and use them it is a problem that needs addressing. During our training if your organisation provide an EAP we ensure learners are aware of it and how get easy access (some have an access portal to their EAP through a Tailored MINDWELL Companion). 
Open Communication: Encouraging open discussions about mental health can create an environment where employees feel safe to share their concerns. It helps to build trust and safety among coworkers. When employees feel safe to express their concerns, they are more likely to seek help and share their experiences without fear of judgment or repercussions. 
Supportive Policies: Implementing policies that promote work-life balance, fair pay, and flexible working arrangements can contribute to overall wellness.  
Access to Resources: We are aware this is an area many organisations struggle. Where do you find resources available in the first place, and then how are you sure they are trusted and verified for safe use? This is why we developed MINDWELL Companion originally.  
Regular Assessment: Monitoring the effectiveness of mental health initiatives and making necessary adjustments. 
It’s also important to recognise that mental health first-aiders should not be seen as a replacement for professional mental health services but rather as a bridge to them. They can be most effective when integrated into a broader mental health strategy that includes professional support and a commitment to creating a healthy work environment. 
Are mental health first aiders getting any ongoing support, guidance and reassurance? or are they now 'trained' and therefore left to 'get on with it' (until they complete a 4-hour refresher every 3 years). We feel strongly that it's important to provide a space for your MHFAider(s) to discuss their role in a safe environment where they can seek guidance, support and reassurance while also having the opportunity for continued learning and keeping up with best practices. This is why we provide quarterly facilitated forums for closed groups or our public option bringing together MHFAiders from various industries and organisations (join us on the 7th May if you are a MHFAider for FREE to sample if the sessions are for you). 
Organisations that we see most successful in creating a positive culture change are embracing the complete approach to workplace wellbeing which includes: 
Preventative training: Workplace Wellbeing Skills for Leaders and Managers, Workplace Wellbeing Skills for Employees, Tailored Workplace Wellbeing Skills for 'insert your industry', Mindmaps Wellbeing Specialist courses. 
Mental Health First Aid training: MHFA England or NUCO accredited courses (Adult & Youth). 
Ongoing guidance and support services including: Quarterly MHFAider Facilitated Forum, MINDWELL Companion, Bridging the Gap (clinical support with a Registered Mental Health Nurse), Return to Work Assessment, Wellbeing Policy, Debriefing After Serious and Unexpected Events. 
Having mental health first aiders in the workplace is a brilliant starting point. However to achieve real change and create a positive culture for workplace wellbeing, it's just that a starting point. I speak to many organisations who will tell me they don't require our services as they have MHFAiders in place already, of course if you don't realize we other so much more than mental health first aid training then you'd believe that to be true. Take a look at our workplace wellbeing brochure to see what your organisation could be missing, or contact me to arrange a free consultation where we can review your organisations current wellbeing stratergy. 
Ultimately, a supportive and positive culture towards workplace wellness is multifaceted and requires ongoing effort from all levels of an organisation. Learning at Work Week is an excellent opportunity to highlight these issues and promote a holistic approach to employee wellbeing. 
In June it is Mens health week and loneliness awareness week, so, I intend to use this space to talk about a contributing chapter I wrote for The Bounce Back Journey of Mens Health, which is also part of why I'm involved with Mindmaps Wellbeing today. 

Learning at Work Week 2024 Theme - Learning Power 

The 2024 theme is ‘Learning power’. It explores how lifelong and continual learning gives us power to change, grow and achieve our individual, team and Organisational goals. 
Power to grow 
Learning is the ultimate tool, providing the opportunity and the means to change and enrich our lives through understanding, knowledge and skills, and see the world in a different way. 
How can we support inclusive learning at work, so we all have access to learning and the power and opportunities it brings? How can we identify learning that will help us grow, develop and reach our goals? What are the key building blocks which enable us to learn through life? How can we build positive attitudes and mindsets to learning? 
Engaging ways: Use your planning process for LAW Week, and the week itself, to gain deeper understanding of who accesses learning at work as well as colleagues’ attitudes, barriers, and motivations to learning, and their wants and needs. Explore these aspects with people from different levels and different parts of the organisation, especially those colleagues who may have barriers to learning, lower confidence levels or lower skills levels. Use the information to build learning engagement approaches, activities and benefit messages for learning and development including Learning at Work Week. 
Positive tastes: A positive learning experience is a key motivator for further learning. Offer short informal tasters on a range of topics for work and life. Give colleagues a chance to try something new to spark new interests or learn a skill. Think about topics that have benefits for both home and work life and highlight this e.g. digital skills, negotiation skills and time management. Ask colleagues to share and showcase their own skills, interests and talents (see below). Signpost to further learning and resources including internal and external opportunities. 
Power blocks: Support colleagues to brush up and gain skills that are the building blocks for life and work. Offer or signpost colleagues to sessions and resources on numeracy, literacy, language, and digital skills, as well as transferable skills such as critical thinking, creativity and problem solving. For colleagues with confidence barriers to numeracy, literacy and language learning, work with learning champions and representatives to provide peer support. 
Making time to learn: If there are colleagues with time barriers to learning, e.g. are time limited or work different hours, try inclusive timetabling, and run sessions at different times of the day (and night), so colleagues have opportunities to participate. Brief line managers on Learning at Work Week and the timings so they can support their teams to take part. 
• Community assets: Invite people from your local area and community to give talks and tours, share skills and show techniques. Find special interest groups and authors through local libraries and bookshops. See if local businesses such as florists, DIY, cycle shops, gyms, bakeries, and garages can provide short sessions e.g. flower arranging, Tyre changing, bike maintenance, cake making and decorating. Invite charities to talk about their work. Look at local history walks, and museum tours. 
Power to connect. 
Learning new things together and from each other builds connections - between people, and between ideas and practice. This fosters relationships, innovation, new perspectives, and different ways of working. 
How can we bring people together to share and learn, especially when more of us work remotely? What can we learn from people, processes, and perspectives from outside our normal working and business lives? 
• Innovation hub: Create a space for cross-organisational learning to stimulate ideas and innovation. Run knowledge-exchange sessions with people from external organisations such as researchers or suppliers in your field, or different sectors to understand different approaches to similar issues. Our MHFAider Facilitated Forum is a great example of this in action. 
• Experiment buddies: Invite colleagues to jointly identify an issue they wish to address, or a process they would like to improve, e.g. more productive team meetings, less cluttered email in-boxes, clearer communications. Ask them to design time-bound mini-experiments to trial out different approaches to address the issue. Ask colleagues to share their results with each other. 
• The power of peers: Tap into the power of sharing and learning as a community. Invite colleagues from all levels of the organisation to share their skills, knowledge, and passions. Suggest topics that colleagues might like to learn e.g. languages, creative arts such as photography, painting or sewing, cooking, digital tools, and apps, decorating, excel, time management tips, and wellbeing activities. As well as in-person and online sessions, prompt sharing and answering of ‘I’d like to know how to...’ questions on the intranet, in your tailored MINDWELL Companion you can include your own learning modules. 
• Question time: Organize a panel session on a burning topic that links to your business’ area. Invite an external speaker or speakers to join internal speakers and make it an open question and answer session. 
• What we learned: If you have a significant project or launch where powerful lessons were learned, ask presenters to share the findings to colleagues to build knowledge and promote a learning culture. 
Connecting is good for your wellbeing: Connecting with others is one of the 5-ways to wellbeing and learning is another so by completing workplace learning you are improving overall wellbeing in the process.  
Power to engage.  
As global forces and trends profoundly change and affect our lives and work, learning can help us engage, respond and be resilient. 
How can we help people to understand the significant global shifts we are experiencing and what this means? How can we use learning to put changes into perspective and promote positive responses, to help allay anxieties, build confidence and support engagement and action? 
Mighty mega-trends: Run talks and discussions on the significant mega-trends – climate change and sustainability; digital transformation and technological disruption; and demographic changes including longer working lives. Explore different aspects and what this means for the future of work, life, and business and the impact it may have on your own context. 
Sector insights: Ask internal or external experts to present on the trends in your business sector, such as emerging technologies and business practices, and what this might mean for the future. 
Powering up sustainability: Create activities that focus on different aspects and understanding of sustainability, from sustainable living to sustainable environments, to sustainable working and Organisational practices. Invite colleagues to talk about sustainable practices in the business and promote green skills, jobs, and careers. 
Skills and career boosts: Support colleagues to appreciate their current strengths and transferable skills. Offer assessments for people to recognise the skills they have acquired through life as well as work. Show how these can be the basis for further learning and job development. Provide coaching conversations to help colleagues’ take ownership of their development. Promote internal career and learning pathways and programmes such as apprenticeships. 
Promoting wellbeing: There is a positive link between lifelong learning and improved mental health and wellbeing. Provide activities that reflect the different ways people define and value health and wellbeing. Highlight Organisational initiatives, resources, and support; and signpost to external organisations, tools, and information. 
Share this post:

Leave a comment: 

Our site uses cookies, including for advertising personalisation. For more information, see our cookie policy. Accept cookies and close
Reject cookies Manage settings