Mental health awareness week DSC 9362
April 28, 2021

Mental Health Awareness week

Mental health awareness week 202001 PIW Here East Day One 2893

By Emily Roach, Paws in Work guest blogger.

what is mental health awareness week & why is it important.

MHAW (May 10th -16th) is an annual event which allows the whole of the UK to focus on mental health and think of ways to aid their mental wellbeing as well as helping family, friends, and colleagues. The key purpose of MHAW is to get the conversation flowing on mental health to eliminate the stigma that can still surround the topic. This is also prominent in the workplace as people return to the office and might need some time to adjust to this change of regime. It’s all about supporting those around you and identifying things that can affect your mental health and potential solutions of overcoming these hurdles.

how do i engage with the theme.

This year’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Week is nature. During these exceptional times, nature has had a positive influence on many, helping them to seek solitude and comfort when they need it most. A lot of people have found that by spending time in a tranquil space, whether they have gone for a workout, a leisurely stroll or sat outdoors, it has led to a boost in their mental health.

It’s important to try and spend some time to take a pause, appreciate and connect with the nature that surrounds you. You can do this in several ways, such as cleaning up surrounding green spaces to help the wildlife, buying a houseplant or two to incorporate nature into your everyday environment, or by making it part of your routine to spend regular time outdoors. It’s also encouraged to share photos and videos of the nature that surrounds your home through social media platforms and explain how beneficial it is to you. This will help in the mission of raising awareness on how nature can improve mental health, and this will inspire others to do the same.

how can i help others engage with the theme.

Some people may not be surrounded by nature where they live and may feel less inclined to find outdoor spaces to unwind in. You might know of someone who is in this situation, or they have easy access to outdoor space, but they don’t take time out to enjoy it. Perhaps reach out to that person and suggest a quiet spot you know of so they can spend some quality time outdoors. You could try to make it routine to meet for walks or to sit and have a chat in a relaxing environment. Small lifestyle changes like this can make a big difference to mental wellbeing.

should i be doing anything for my employees / colleagues?

There’s a variety of things you can do to support employees / colleagues who could be experiencing a decline in their mental health. Some companies are still working remotely which can have varying effects on employees; some might love working within their home comforts, whereas others might feel isolated, unmotivated, and out of routine. Numerous people also may be finding it difficult to adapt to the change of working in the office again and dealing with other factors that come along with it, such as lengthy commutes. It’s extremely important to help maintain employee mental health by encouraging your team to talk about their feelings; this will show them that they have someone to confide in and can discuss sensitive topics with confidence.

Another way of helping your team is by booking a virtual puppy therapy session with us for those who are working from home; we also offer sessions within companies’ workspaces, which will be running as restrictions continue to ease. If you’d like to help equip your team with knowledge and tools on recognising possible changes to their mental health, why these changes might’ve occurred and how to help others, you can choose from our range of mental health courses and workshops.

book a course with us for your colleagues/employees.

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