With 1 in 4 people experiencing poor mental health at some point in their lives, getting the conversation going around mental health is so important. Here at FMC we champion an open, honest environment where people can talk to anyone about anything they might be struggling with.
The Mental Health Foundation have published a list of things that can support mental health in the workplace. Here’s what they are and how FMC are implementing them:
Talk about your feelings
The doors of the FMC management team are always open if you need support with mental health at work. Similarly, we encourage friendly, open conversations between all of our employees to make sure everyone is able to talk if they need to.
Once a week the FMC team have a personal training session at lunch in the fresh air. Not only have we seen a correlation between these PT sessions and our general fitness levels (well, kind of) but we’ve also seen improvements in productivity for the office.
We often do events at FMC like Tough Mudder or the Lincoln 10k… whilst not everyone is Mo Farrah it’s great to all come together as a team and support each other. This year, we did the 10k for CALM, a national charity dedicated to the prevention of male suicide.
Apart from our Fat Fridays and when my mum bakes a cake (so basically every week), FMC try and eat healthy! Eating healthy can stimulate your brain and give you more energy. With our kitchen area, it allows us to get away from our desks and have an hour to chat to friends, take a break and refresh our minds for the afternoon.
Some simple ideas to promote healthy eating could be a lunch club – take it in turns to cook, a fruit bowl in reception or a healthy snack box.
Keep in touch
Relationships are key to our mental health and working in a supportive team is hugely important for mental health at work. FMC is genuinely like one big family!
It’s an open environment where if you needed to speak to someone who isn’t your line manager or the MD, you could quite easily tap someone on the shoulder and ask for a quick word of advice. Not everyone is as lucky as us to work with their best friends, so appointing someone as a mental health advisor to go on a ‘mental health first aid course’ is a great idea. That way colleagues know they have always got someone to talk to.
Ask for help
There is never a bad time to ask for help. Whether it’s about a tricky project you are working on or you’re struggling to meet a deadline or even if your relationships outside of work are in a bad place, always seek help.
FMC have a 24/7 BUPA helpline for employees where they can call up about absolutely anything. Having this in place has been an incredible support for FMC and it means you can talk to someone away from home, away from work and away from friends to have a rant, have a cry or get some advice.
Take a break
This could be anything from a five-minute pause from looking at your computer screen to going for a walk at lunch time. Some employers even offer discretionary leave to look after your wellbeing, if you have this service at hand use it if you need it. It is okay not to be okay!
Do something you’re good at
Doing something you’re good at and that you enjoy can be a real boost to self-esteem. Whilst the majority of hobbies are done outside of work, there are some you can do with your colleagues. FMC have a book club where once a month we get together to discuss a business book we’ve read. For non-readers, we have done many a baking competition for our budding Mary Berrys.
Accept who you are
We are all different! Feeling good about yourself increases your confidence in everything you do whether that be learning new skills, making new friends or taking on new challenges! Be proud of who you are and focus on what you can do well.
Care for others
This is so, so important. This can be anything from telling your colleague they’ve done a great job on a certain project to volunteering for a charity. However big or small, you could make a person’s day by caring. FMC often do ‘messages of kindness’ where we anonymously write down a nice thing about someone and you would not believe how happy it makes you! Try it.
Some resources for supporting mental health in the workplace
If you need to talk to someone that isn’t a friend, family member or colleague, the NHS has a great list of mental health helplines here.