Mental Health Awareness Week: why acknowledging mental health in the workplace is so important

This Week is Mental Health Awareness Week, an annual, UK-wide campaign from the Mental Health Foundation that aims to bring awareness and provoke conversation around the topic of mental wellbeing.


With more than one in six people experiencing mental health problems in the workplace, we think it’s essential that employers are doing their bit to ensure their staff have access to the support they need, particularly when the average person will spend one third of their lives at work.


Here at Connect Assist, we work with a number of fantastic organisations that are doing amazing things to help tackle the stigma around mental health.


From mental health charity Mind and Combat Stress, which provides a first point of contact to army veterans across a range of complex issues, to The Benevolent, the charity offering support to current and former employees of the drinks industry, our call handlers deal with a huge range of complex individual needs every day.


We are fortunate enough to work with some incredibly inspiring charities and support networks, yet despite the fantastic work being carried out by so many, we know there is still a long way to go.


We will be hearing from Mind and The Benevolent later in the week about why building awareness and a greater understanding of mental health in the workplace is so integral to both organisations.


The helpline services we provide are often real lifelines for people dealing with very difficult personal circumstances. Our employees are therefore thoroughly trained in the specialist skills of understanding and managing vulnerable and often challenging callers.


What’s more, each call handler only works with one charity, so they are able to build up individual expertise and offer tailored advice and support to service users after a period of immersive training.


We understand that dealing with a complex range of issues every day can be difficult for our staff, so we always encourage employees to open up and talk to us. This way, we can create a two-way dialogue and support them as effectively as possible.


From one-to-one support after taking a challenging call to an employee assistance programme that is available 24/7, we believe that encouraging a workplace culture of openness and prioritising wellbeing for all members of staff results in wider benefits for our organisation.


Every year, one in four of us will experience a mental health problem and it’s essential that we do all we can to make sure people facing these issues know they are not alone.


This Mental Health Awareness Week we’ll be sharing a series of blogs about what we’re doing to tackle the stigma of mental health in the workplace and beyond.


We’ll be hearing from members of our senior team on the issues that matter most to them, including our Clinical Lead Melanie Tucker, who will be discussing why mental health in the workplace should no longer be a stigma.


A member of our team, Amanda, will also be sharing her story of the challenges she has faced with mental health.


Last year, Amanda found herself struggling at work and in her home life with depression, but with the support of her management team and a confidential helpline she is now in a much happier and healthier place.


She wanted to tell her own story so that other people facing similar challenges know how and where to get help when they need it.


We know that creating an open, transparent dialogue around mental health in the workplace is possible, and it’s always been central to our mission of making Connect Assist a supportive, positive and enabling place to work.


Throughout the week we will also be hosting a number of activities and fundraising events at our HQ in South Wales to encourage our employees, clients and partners to start thinking and talking more about mental health.


We know there are some fantastic organisations out there going above and beyond to raise awareness for mental health issues. If you’re one of we’d love to hear from you.


Get in touch with us on Twitter, or share your story using the #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek hashtag.

Follow us on social media to stay up-to-date throughout the week.


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