Wednesday 10 October is World Mental Health Day 2018. How will your organisation communicate it?

Need a hand? I’ve got you covered. This article contains advice and guidance to share with employees.

Help yourself and do let me know how you are marking the day. You’re welcome to comment below or Tweet me @AllthingsIC.

What is it?
World Mental Health Day is recognised by the World Health Organisation on 10 October every year.

The day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.

This year’s theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health is young people and mental health in a changing world.

See the World Federation for Mental Health website for full information and find them on Twitter @WMHDay.

How to write about mental health

I recommend checking out the mentalhealth.org.uk website. It’s full of resources including the information below and their free guide to supporting mental health at work.

How to write about mental health according to the mentalhealth.org.uk website…

Mental health is the way we think and feel and our ability to deal with ups and downs. Mental health is something we all have. When we enjoy good mental health, we have a sense of purpose and direction, the energy to do the things we want to do, and the ability to deal with the challenges that happen in our lives.

When we think about our physical health, there’s a place for keeping ourselves fit, and a place for getting appropriate help as early as possible so we can get better. Mental health is just the same.

If you enjoy good mental health, you can:

  • make the most of your potential
  • cope with what life throws at you
  • play a full part in your relationships, your workplace, and your community.

Your mental health doesn’t always stay the same. It can fluctuate as circumstances change and as you move through different stages in your life.

Distress is a word used to describe times when a person isn’t coping – for whatever reason. It could be something at home, the pressure of work, or the start of a mental health problem like depression. When we feel distressed, we need a compassionate, human response. The earlier we are able to recognise when something isn’t quite right, the earlier we can get support.

What does the law say?

We have a wide range of legal rights that protect our mental health at work. These range from basic human rights such as the right to freedom of expression and freedom of association, to the health and safety legislation that keeps us safe from hazards, including psychological hazards.

Source: mentalhealth.org.uk website

See their free guide to supporting mental health at work to find out more.

Tea & Talk

Organisations are being encouraged to hold a Tea & Talk event.

Tea & Talk is a national fundraising event which takes place on or around World Mental Health Day each year.

All you have to do is get together a group of friends, family or colleagues, put the kettle on and invite them to make a donation to the Mental Health Foundation – it’s as simple as that!

Don’t feel stuck if October is no good for you though – you can hold Tea & Talks at any time of year.

There is a whole website of dedicated resources where you can download collateral to help you communicate your Tea & Talk event.

Useful resources to learn more about mental health at work

What is good mental health video – from the Institute of Directors (IoD):

Where’s your head at video:

Mental Health First Aiders

Mental Health First Aid England (MFHA) runs courses to teach the importance of mental health across a variety of organisations from further education to the armed forces and workplaces.

Their website states: “Our training and consultancy is here to support you to manage wellbeing proactively and minimise the impact of mental ill-health on work and life. We’ll work alongside you to deliver training that complements and enhances your existing wellbeing strategy, if you have one. If you don’t, we’ll get you started on that journey and guide you along the way.

The history
In 2007, officials within the Department of Health were asked investigate the roll out of a mental health training package across England. Upon discovering that Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training, first developed in Australia in 2000, was being implemented across Scotland, a decision was taken to look at using the programme in England. Within the same year, the National Institute for Mental Health in England started offering Mental Health First Aid courses.

Due to the programme’s popularity, it was decided that Mental Health First Aid should be set up as a social enterprise. In 2009, Poppy Jaman, now MHFA England CEO, and others, were asked to lead the development of MHFA England as an independent Community Interest Company (CIC). Since then the organisation has gone from strength to strength, recently ranking in the FT 1000, the Financial Times’ index of the fastest growing companies in Europe.

What MHFA does
MHFA England provides mental health awareness training and consultancy in a wide variety of communities, including schools, universities, the armed forces community, businesses and the public sector. Through its in-house consultancy team and national network of over 1,300 instructors, MHFA England facilitates and delivers a number of Mental Health First Aid courses, including Youth MHFA, Higher Education MHFA, Workplace MHFA and Armed Forces MHFA.

Each of the courses teaches the mental health equivalent of physical first aid, tailored to the particular audience. MHFA England continually quality assures its training products and applies a robust quality assurance process to all.

Further reading about mental health on my blog

Mental health is a topic which is incredibly close to my heart. I’ve been investing in my own mental health through counselling for the past couple of years. My local mental health NHS Trust has been a wonderful support.

It’s ok to not be ok. It’s ok to ask for help. If I can, you can.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you found this information helpful to enable you to plan your comms activities.

Rachel

Post author: Rachel Miller

First published on the All Things IC blog 8 October 2018.

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