Blog. Taking our mental health message out and about.

October 16, 2019 | Author: Jeremy Gibson

Over the past couple of days, we’ve been taking our ‘we’ve got you’ message across the UK, breaking taboos that still surround mental health problems, and getting some great responses too.

Monday Night’s Northern Lights Dinner in Liverpool was a triumph in many ways. Most importantly, thanks to the generosity of our chefs and guests, we raised over £30,000 to support our vital work. The event, and our mental health campaign, were also the focus of a segment created by Granada News which was broadcast last night on the North West evening news.

Presenter Victoria Grimes interviewed HA supporters Paul Askew, Marcella Piret and Gary Usher about why it’s important for employers to take steps to establish processes in order to enable staff to talk about their feelings or concerns. Everybody, from the chefs on the night to Shane Guildford of Cheshire College shared the view, that whether it’s caring for students or long-established team members, we all have a duty to offer a sympathetic ear and respond to employee’s concerns.

You can watch the report online.

Yesterday, I was joined on stage at The Independent Hotel Show in London by HA spokespeople Giovanna Grossi and Mitchell Collier. Custard Communications boss Petra Clayton chaired a session where we talked about the importance of talking about mental health problems in the workplace. Giovanna candidly shared her experience of having to seek help when caring for her terminally ill partner. While Mitchell told the moving story of how recovering from his successful cancer treatment also involved accepting that he had changed as a person due to his experience.

The debate sparked some great questions from the audience and the general consensus appeared to be that most people in attendance had the desire to be more receptive about talking about mental health issues, if still a little unsure as to how to broach them.

What struck me the most was how important it is that we at HA, and fantastically brave people like Mitchell, Giovanna, Paul, Marcella and Gary continue to have the courage to share their own experiences in order to normalise conversations about mental health problems and encourage people to speak up in their own workplace. Yesterday, on leaving the stage several people approached me to thank us for speaking and a couple opened-up about their own concerns, some for the first time.

It’s hard to have conversations about mental health problems, and as employers we can’t always flick a switch to make a situation better. But I’m convinced that there’s a positive benefit just to feeling able to have the conversation with a colleague and thanks to our EAP, we’re there to help with the rest.

To find out more about our EAP, drop me a line. And check out our World Mental Health Day campaign page, and our range of training courses to establish mental health programmes in your business via the links below.

We’ve got you.