As a SimpleClick director and a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England Champion, I am aware of the importance of looking after your mental wellbeing and how as a business we can help to raise the profile of mental health.
Mental health is not a new concept, but in recent times we have seen a shift in the way that society treats mental wellbeing. However, despite society becoming more understanding and accepting of mental illnesses, there is still a long way to go and many challenges remain when accessing the services and support so many people are in desperate need of.
Suffolk Mind has a goal to make Suffolk the best place in the world for talking about and taking care of mental health. This is an aim which we mirror here at SimpleClick and as the company’s Mental Health lead, I want to ensure that we provide a safe haven for staff to talk freely about their wellbeing.
In February we opened our doors to Suffolk Mind for its Your Needs Met session. The workshop provided us with a detailed look into 'The Mental Health Continuum' and how anyone can move up and down the scale, and gave us insight into how we can balance our physical and emotional needs for a healthy mental state.
The session was very well received by the team. Our project manager, Naomi said: “Understanding the 12 fundamental needs for personal wellness was an eye-opener, and realising that these are in fact ‘needs’ rather than ‘wants’. Learning about sleep cycles and the fundamental role sleep plays in your general wellbeing was really interesting too – it’s certainly something that I will be paying more attention to in the future.”
This feedback is incredibly encouraging, and reassures me that as a responsible employer we are doing what we can to raise the profile of mental health and wellbeing within our team.
In addition to the Suffolk Mind training, we have also made sure that myself and our Managing Director, Richard, are Mental Health First Aid Champions. After becoming MHFA Champions, we then introduced monthly one-to-one meetings with each team member. These provide our employees with the platform to speak freely about their wellbeing, as well as their professional development. This initiative has also provided us with invaluable insight into the areas where our members of staff would benefit from investment to help them grow personally and professionally.
It’s very important to us that everyone looks after their mental health, so we also ensure that everyone completes annual training, takes all of their allotted holiday, doesn’t work long hours and takes advantage of our flexible working opportunities.
We also encourage a healthy lifestyle through our cycle to work scheme and running club, and offer every team member with a tailored training and development programme, which allows them to engineer their career path within the company - whether it’s through testing a new technology or learning a skill that might aid a promotion.
One of our developers, Matt Miller says: “As someone who lives with a mental health diagnosis, I feel supported knowing that the business acknowledges a traditionally invisible illness. Having their model of mental health explained to us was genuinely insightful and made me rethink a lot of my interactions in the past, both with others and myself.”
Whether it is having a mental and physical well-being programme like ours in place, or taking inspiration from initiatives that are available across Suffolk, we can all make small steps that make a world of a difference for our mental health.
To find out more about Mental Health First Aid training and to see what courses are on in your area, go to the MHFA England website.