Breaking the stigma: World Mental Health Day

October 10th is the World Health Organisations, World Mental Health Day, an annual campaign to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world. Over the past few years there has been a dramatic shift in the conversation surrounding mental health partly due to the huge number of campaigns that organisations such as WHO, Mind and HeadsTogether have run.

 

Research suggests that roughly 1 in every 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. On top of this statistic it is important to remember that as with our physical health we will all experience phases of good mental health and poor mental health. Days such as World Mental Health Day, help remind us that whilst many people experience mental health issues there is a lot of help and support out there.

Earlier this year Scotch Partners gained their first Mental Health First Aider and put in place a specific Mental Health Policy for the workplace. We asked Imogen for her advice on looking after your mental health:

“World Mental Health Day is so important for every one of us. The stigma surrounding mental health is being broken down each day and the conversation gets louder all the time. I think it is important for everyone to realise that we need to look after our mental health just as we look after our physical health. We know to stay physically healthy we need to eat well, exercise and drink plenty of water. Looking after our mental health is no different, it is just about finding the activities that help you stay calm and relaxed. Some of the activities I recommend include meditation, reading, exercising and getting plenty of sleep!”

To support the Scotch team we have set up a few initiatives in the office. We have a lunchtime walking group, where we take turns to plot a route around the area of London where our office is based. Phones away, we have the opportunity to talk to our colleagues whilst spending some time away from our desks and getting some exercise.

For the more sporty members of our team us, a lunchtime squash league and after work football matches are frequently on the agenda. Whereas the office breakout areas and library shelf offer ‘time out’ of another kind.

Back in September the Scotch team sponsored and took part in the IBI Construction Cup a fun and friendly five-a-side charity football tournament. This year the cup supported Mates in Mind, a registered charity helping to raise awareness and improving mental health across workplaces in construction and related industries. Not only did they manage to raise a staggering £8,050 but as importantly they used the platform to raise awareness and understanding of mental health and mental ill-health and started to break the silence and stigma through promoting cultures of positive wellbeing throughout the industry. We were really proud to be involved.

Mental Health issues won’t disappear, but by raising awareness through initiatives like World Mental Health Day we are breaking the stigma and starting the conversation, it’s ok not to be ok.