5 radical things your workplace could do for Mental Health Awareness Week 2020
At CoLiberate, every week is mental health awareness week. Our primary focus is to enable people to develop the skills they need to support the people around them, so we’ve compiled this list of practical, tangible things you can do to help your team build up these skills and make everyone in your workplace more aware of the importance of their wellbeing at work.
Take a look and pick something that feels interesting or exciting to you. Whatever you choose to do this MHAW, make sure you measure how it impacts on your team’s vitality, mood, productivity and sense of connection with their work and wider team. You may be surprised to find that spending a little bit of work time on their own wellness increases and lifts all of these things.
Costs Money 💲
Takes Time 🕒
Connective and Impactful (in our experience) 💖
Check-ins 🕒 💖
Check-in at the start of each day, in groups or with a check-in buddy who you could start the day with a cup of tea with. This could rotate so that people who don’t know each other very well get the opportunity to connect with each other.
Extra for experts? Challenge yourself to do a check in at the start of every meeting for every day of the week and see if you can stick to it. It’s as easy as taking a moment to go around the room and give time for each person to share how they’re feeling and what they need. Try it for the week and watch as your team dynamics and meetings shift.
2. Normalise the continuum of mental health 💖
Put a Mood Monitor board on your office wall which represents the Continuum of Mental Health™ – from Highly Distressed, Distressed, Coping, Doing ok, Doing Well, Thriving. You can then print out names or photos of each person on your team and invite them to move their photo to the place they are on the continuum for that day.
3. Honour your supporters 🕒 💖
Who cares? Who in your workplace do you see actively supporting others? Who really listens to the needs of others? How can you acknowledge and honor them and their mahi as a valuable part of your organisation?
Identify all the people who are supporting others and do something to recognise them
Take them out for lunch to discuss the best ways to make mental health a priority in your workplace. If there’s a whole group of them, set up some paid time for them to come together, to share their experiences and work out a strategy going forward of how to be more visible in the company as MHFAers or supportive people for anyone who wants to talk.
Or you could hold the Who Cares awards? Has someone found you crying in the toilets and supported you? Has someone been offering support to others since their first day? Who’s been the best kind ear, the best distraction after a hard meeting, the person who’s most valued mental health as being as important as physical health in the office. Give them an award. They deserve it.
4. Empower your staff to take your wellness strategy into their own hands. 🕒 💖
Are you already pretty into wellness in your workplace? Not sure what more you could be doing? Help your team feel empowered to alter the mental health landscape of your workplace. Hold a competition for teams to come up with the best ongoing Wellbeing policy or activity for your workplace. The best pitch for ways to enhance workplace wellbeing could be tried out for the following month, or year. You never know, it might just spark some of the best wellness processes your organisation will ever have.
5. Not-your-usual-token-morning-tea 🕒 💖
You might feel like morning teas are a basic and tokenistic gesture that will do nothing to genuinely support the ongoing wellbeing of your staff. And it would be valid for you to feel that way. If you’re going to have a morning tea – try something new – have your CEO or manager speak at the start to explicitly outline that it is their job to care about the wellbeing of their team, to support them to grow and thrive in their roles (because it is). You could lay out some conversation starters to get people talking about the ways they could be better supported at work. Use the opportunity to really hear what everyone needs to be thriving at work.
If you need more support to do something for your team this MHAW, CoLiberate are available for Workplace talks, in-house meditation, yoga and reflective writing sessions, and Wellbeing Actions Planning. But you don’t need us to show your colleagues that you care about them. It’s not important what you do, it’s important that you do something. So do something this Mental Health Awareness Week.