Tuesday 10 October is World Mental Health Day 2023.
This year, the World Federation for Mental Health marks 75 years since its formation in 1948, launching World Mental Health Day in 1992.
The theme for 2023 is Mental Health is a Universal Human Right and you can download the official toolkit from the World Federation for Mental Health. These can be used beyond 10 October to help keep the conversations open around mental health.
The Mental Health Foundation is running a ‘Tea and Talk’ campaign, encouraging people to speak about their mental wellbeing. You can download resources, templates and promotional material to use in your organisation from their dedicated resources page.
The Institute of Internal Communication (IoIC) has a range of resources including webinars, factsheets and articles on talking about mental health including their Onebright Mental Health and Campaigning and Consulting about Mental Health factsheets.
How to go about talking about mental health internally.
Here are some of our tips to help you get started on encouraging colleagues to talk about mental health at work.
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 with 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.
Further resources from All Things IC
You can also bookmark this shortcut to all our blogs on Mental Health.
External organisations and charities
Mental health support for comms professionals
Post author: Dan Holden
First published on the All Things IC blog 6 October 2023