In honour of World Mental Health Day on 10th October, Underscore Training Hosted a Mental Health Workshop. The aim was to gather people from different organizations together, to talk about the vital issue of mental health at work. Below, Sarah Rudder, expert in mental health and wellbeing, shares her experiences from the day…

Mental health continues to be something that people find difficult to talk about so I wanted to tackle the stigma attached to it early on in the session and did this by encouraging the group to explore the words and phrases that we often hear around us that relate to mental health issues. My purpose here was to highlight that for the most part the words we relate to mental health are actually words about mental illness. When we talk about physical health we don’t automatically talk about disease, sickness and disability, we talk about positive things such as fitness, strength and being healthy. We have to shift the conversation about mental health and a huge part of that is tackling the unconscious bias attached to the way we talk and think about it.

During the session I also gave participants the chance to explore their own mental health a little as we explored their emotional landscapes and what they can do to shift emotional state when they want or need to. I’m a real advocate of people learning to look after themselves first and foremost and believe that all businesses should be offering their employees and managers workshops on how to manage their own mental and emotional health.

It was interesting to hear from attendees at the breakfast session about their own organisations and how they are tackling these subjects. It was really reassuring that so many of them already have measures such as Mental Health First Aid in place.

As employers we have to take mental health and the impact it can have on our employees seriously. At Underscore we recommend a three pronged approach that covers prevention of issues arising through raising awareness and capability, early intervention such as ensuring that managers are trained and confident to have a conversation about mental health and thirdly looking at how you support people back into the workplace in the most effective way if they have been absent.

If you need support in your organisation around mental health, whether it is stress management, resilience training or other areas please feel free to get in touch we would love to help.

I just wanted to say thank you for hosting the breakfast session yesterday. I found both Sarah’s facilitation and Sam’s case study really interesting and insightful together with meeting others who attended the session. A great step to awareness and also a great ‘check in’ with some of the work we have started at our organisation in this arena.

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