From 13th - 19th May, businesses across the UK will be actively taking part in Mental Health Awarenss Wekk to help those affected by mental health conditions in the workplace.
At Pluss, in partnership with our parent organisation, Seetec, we’re encouraging employers to do more in the workplace to not only support those in need of help, but also to embark on activities that bring about a positive change to improve overall mental wellbeing.
This year, to coincide with the Mental Health Foundation’s campaign message of ‘Five Steps to Positive Mental Change”, we’ll be working to recognise each element of the cause to spearhead change and set an example across the business.
This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is asking individuals to look at whether they are surviving or thriving. It recommends taking five steps to gain better mental well-being including Connection, Getting Active, Being Mindful, Learning and Giving to Others. For each day of the week, we’ll take one of these key factors and promote them throughout the business. There’ll be a number of activities for our staff to get involved with including yoga, mindfulness seminars, well-being walks, tea & talk sessions and donations to charity.
As well as the activities planned specifically to support Mental Health Awareness Week, we’re encouraging our workforce to be open about their mental health all year round.
Claire Illingworth, People Development Consultant at Seetec, said “Mental Health Awareness Week is a cause we are proud to support every year. As a business, we do as much as possible to address issues faced with mental health in the workplace. It’s a huge part of what we do. Whilst we are beginning to see a positive change with a number of employers we work with, so much more can be done to break the stigma and go that extra mile to help people feel happier and healthier at work. We’re hoping our activities throughout the week will really get people thinking about the importance of this and how they can start regular conversations about mental health that could help their colleagues.”
The Seetec Group is made up of a number of employment, apprenticeship and rehabilitation specialists including apprenticeship training specialists, Outsource Vocational Learning, disability employment specialist Pluss, and Kent ,Surrey and Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company.
Asher turned to Pluss when she struggled to find work following some health issues. Like many people, Asher, found mental health struggles were affecting her career and didn’t know where to turn.
She talks about her journey and how she came to find Pluss “I was brilliant at my job - I was the highest selling technician in the South West for a local car dealer. I used to be in charge of my own team.”
Things then started to change which led to some challenges for Asher. “Due to a change in management and increased workload, I was unable to manage my health. I was starting to become out of control. I was signed off sick for a long time. I found it really hard to find work because my confidence had hit rock bottom. I didn't realise it was depression. Six months of being out of the motor trade, I had lost touch with what I once knew to be able to do the job.”
Pluss helped Asher to get her confidence back. “My change coach is absolutely fantastic, she made such a difference in my life. I was treated with utmost respect and felt very comfortable. During my time with Pluss I was able to attend a job fair at City College. I met the head of automotive engineering training and from this, I was offered a full-time position as a workshop tutor trainer which is a brand-new start for me.”
“Now my mood has changed, my outlook has changed. I don't look for an excuse to stay in the house, I look for a reason to get out. My family are over the moon and have immediately seen the change in me - they are happy to have me back. I can't wait to start work.”
John Baumback, Managing Director at Seetec comments “We’re thrilled to be supporting Mental Health Awareness Week once again - we recognise how vital it is to be open in the workplace about mental health and we want to open the forum to encourage not only ourselves, but other businesses to do the same. The importance of using our expertise across our wide breadth of customer helps us to support and guide those who need it most. We want to thank everyone who has made a conscious effort to honour Mental Health Awareness Week and hope to create a positive shift by the work we do.”
You can find out more about the Mental Health Foundation and Mental Health Awareness Week by visiting their website.