As we rise from the end of the global pandemic, I took a moment to consider the damage it has caused, particularly within businesses. Some thrived from the isolated, work-from-home culture whilst others struggled and lost their creativity and drive. One of Capsule’s main values is prioritising wellness and well-being, so when the pandemic hit, in order to grow, develop and heal, we had to have various structures and support systems in place. After working with the team at Mental Health at Work for several years, we’ve begun to understand how mental health is affected in the workplace from campaigns we’ve helped run and discussions we’ve had with their team.
What is mental health to me?
From my perspective, the same way we look after our physical health by ensuring we eat a well-balanced diet and exercise, we need to look after our mental health. The way I understand it, mental health encompasses our general emotional, psychological and social well-being. Our thoughts and feelings can sometimes start to play out in how we behave and react to circumstances, which can provide signals as to how we are coping mentally. There can be many reasons why people are struggling with mental health – anything from a traumatic experience, inherited biological factors or everyday life circumstances. However, I do feel that many of the young people I interact with are heavily impacted by expectations created by social media to look or act a particular way.
How does work affect our mental health?
The main reason we work is in order to be paid, but does that mean my mental health should suffer in order to live in today’s society? In my opinion, absolutely not. Work can affect my mental health in multiple ways including stressful client work, tight deadlines, navigating relationships at work as well as many more factors. Poor mental health in the workplace affects office morale, productivity and absences costing organisations more than what they would spend in order to support employees’ mental health.
Mental Health issues cost employers up to £53 billion last year(footnote 1)
What can we do to support wellbeing?
The littlest of things may improve your mental health, and it’s important to recognise that it’s different for everyone. Some people enjoy listening to music, others like to go for a walk and some like to just chat with their friends.
Just some of the things we do at Capsule to support well-being in the team include;
- Weekly breathing/yoga sessions
- Fresh fruit and snacks available in the office
- Regular team-building activities and outings
- 1-2-1 scheduled and frequent check-ins encouraging open and honest conversation
- Seeking support from team members in challenging situations
- Personal wellbeing budget for everyone
- Truly flexible, remote first working
- Early Friday finish
I personally like to listen to music or watch a comfort TV program as well as wrapping up in a blanket like a burrito on the sofa! We’re all individuals and we all see mental health in different ways as well as use different things to take care of ourselves. In the same way we all have a different taste in music or have a favourite food.
If you are struggling with your mental health, please reach out to organisations that are available to help you (please see below for a list of contacts). If you are looking for more information on how your organisation can be empowered to have better conversations around mental health within the workplace, please reach out to the workplace mental health experts at Mental Health at Work.
If you’re struggling and need someone to talk to, please contact any of the following organisations for help today:
Call Samaritans for free 24/7 at 116 123 or visit https://www.samaritans.org/
Contact Crisis Text Line 24/7 by texting SHOUT to 85258 if you are experiencing a mental health crisis and need support.