World Mental Health Day
By Amrit Bilku, Finance
Tuesday 10th October was World Mental Health Day, IOR was keen to do everything we could to get involved! First held in 1992, this was the 25th day dedicated to raising awareness of mental health issues and fight the still-associated stigma.
IOR’s awareness of Mental Health concerns developed through our application process for the London Healthy Workplace Charter. The Charter is free of charge provides guidance on how employees can raise issues with management and measures to support them.
1 in 4 people will experience mental health problems each year and 9 in 10 say they have faced negative treatment from others as a result. The NHS “only expects to help 15% of these people” and this is where mental health charities come in. Although progress has been made in the last few years, there is still a long way to go, as many are still struggling to overcome the stigma, which sees misplaced attributions of shame that have long been an impediment to those suffering. For those who do receive help there are often huge waiting lists, and in some cases, the help is too little too late.
Mental health charities such as Mind, offer additional support and advice to anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services and promote understanding. At IOR we chose to support the work of Mind, and incorporate their main goals into our daily lives:
“1) Staying well: Support people likely to develop mental health problems, to stay well.
2) Empowering choice: Empower people who experience a mental health problem to make informed choices about how they live and recover
3) Improving services and support: Ensure people get the right services and support at the right time to help their recovery and enable them to live with their mental health problem
4) Enabling social participation: Open the doors to people with experience of mental health problems participating fully in society
5) Removing inequality of opportunity: Gain equality of treatment for people who experience both mental health and other forms of discrimination
6) Organisational excellence: Make the most of our assets by building a culture of excellence.”
This year, the theme for World Mental Health Day was Workplace Wellbeing, and as well as fundraising for Mind, IOR wanted to do as much as possible to raise awareness around the office and amongst our staff. Without support, people can lose what they care about the most, and it is a time when they most need friends, family, and colleagues. Contrary to belief, you really don’t need to be an expert to support someone. It can be as simple as checking in with someone, asking how they are, or offering them a cup of tea. We aim to make sure that IOR is a place where everyone feels comfortable talking about their mental health, and provide a support system to those who need it.
Along with posters, leaflets, booklets, and informative videos around the office, we held an IOR Raffle to raise money for Mind. We received some fabulous donations, and even auctioned off services such as tea-making for a week! Simple things promoted awareness, such as changing our e-mail signatures to include a ‘World Mental Health day’ logo, and using the website GoRaise to donate a portion of all online shopping to Mind. One thing we know for sure, is that everyone went home with a newly acquired gift, and there were smiles all-round the office!
Learn more about recognising and supporting Mental Health in the Workplace with The London Healthy Workplace Charter.
IOR Wellbeing Breakfast: Friday 17th November – supported by The Mayor of London.