Monday 10 October is World Mental Health Day 2022.
Since 1992, it’s been an initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, an organisation covering more than 150 countries worldwide.
World Mental Health Day 2022
World Mental Health Day aims to raise awareness of mental health issues and increase the support available to improve mental wellbeing. The conversation around mental health is more than just one day or one week a year, but taking the first steps by encouraging colleagues to start a conversation is a step in the right direction.
The theme for 2022 is ‘Make Mental Health and well-being for all a global priority’. You can find a range of resources from the Mental Health Foundation to help promote your wellbeing activities.
At All Things IC, we focus on our wellbeing every week, from checking in during our Monday team call, looking out for each other when it’s busy and reminding each other to be kind to ourselves if we aren’t feeling 100%.
Last week, we all spent the morning learning about workplace mental health with Lindsey Simpson, increasing our understanding of how we can help ourselves and our clients when it comes to mental health. It’s something we’re all passionate about and often in our Masterclass sessions, we explore the pressures internal communicators face and how they can look after themselves.
For the second year running, we signed up as a business to the Heard Mentality campaign, launched by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA).
This campaign not only surveys PR and communication professionals on the industry progress on mental health but encourages organisations to take regular time to speak internally about mental health. You can sign-up as either an individual or an organisation to take part.
How to go about talking about mental health internally.
This is often a question that we see on social networking sites and here are some of our tips to help you get started.
Check out the resources available from professional services and charities. There’s a lot of helpful content from organisations such as Mind, the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health UK and the World Federation for Mental Health. They have some fantastic toolkits, including images, PDFs and copy for internal articles and emails. Do check over them to make sure the language matches that of your colleague groups.
Create a central location for signposting and resources. Having one place where colleagues can go to access not just resources about mental health but other aspects of wellbeing make it more accessible. You could have an intranet hub, a page on your employee app, or a dedicated area with noticeboards and literature stands in breakout areas in the office.
Provide dedicated resources for line managers. Managers can often be the first person a colleague will speak to about any wellbeing concerns. Guides such as how to start a conversation with a colleague or what to do if a colleague approaches you to talk about mental health can give managers more assurance that they’ll able to support their teams. The Chartered Institute of Professional Development (CIPD) has a range of resources to support.
Focus on wellbeing throughout the year. World Mental Health Day shouldn’t be a standalone event in your content calendar. Plan across the year different aspects of wellbeing that can support colleagues. Working closely with your Human Resources can be helpful when you’re looking to embed wellbeing throughout your organisation.
Don’t be afraid of signposting to external activities. As communicators, we aren’t the experts when it comes to mental health and our colleagues don’t expect to be. There are lots of events, both in-person and online, that can be helpful to promote to colleagues. Make sure you do your due diligence on any activities you signpost to. The Mental Health Foundation provides free events throughout the year.
Be inclusive of everyone. Mental health can affect people in different ways. Promoting specific support for colleague groups such as your LGBTQ+ networks, parents or ethnic groups shows that extra consideration has been given to supporting colleagues. If you have colleague networks, ask them what support they’d most value rather than trying to guess.
Simply be human. Asking a colleague, your manager, a friend or a family how they are can be a powerful action in itself. By being authentic and ourselves to others, a small gesture of kindness can go a long way to making others feel valued and supported.
Give yourself space to pause and breath.
Outside of his work with All Things IC, Communication Consultant Dan Holden is a facilitator with Fresh Air Fridays, an organisation that encourage people to step outside of their home and workplaces to give themselves time to focus on themselves. He’s running two, 30-minute Breathing Space virtual sessions on Monday 10 October and Friday 14 October as part of the CIPR and PRCA Heard Mentality campaign.
Here’s a recording of a Breathing Space session if you’d like to learn more.
On the All Things IC blog
You can also bookmark this handy shortcut to all our blogs on Mental Health.
External organisations and charities
Rethink Mental Illness
Mental health support for comms professionals