As you may be aware, 14th – 20th of May is Mental Health Awareness Week, with the focus of the week being coping with stress.

Approximately 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health issue at some point in their life. Everyday worries such as money, jobs and family pressures can make coping increasingly difficult and often results with people resorting to self-harm and experiencing suicidal thoughts.

At Balhousie Care Group we are an organisation that is focussed on its people: those who operate in the business, those we care for and those we work with in the community. Our passion for people is the reason why Together We’re Great.

As part of our commitment to our people and in light of it being Mental Health Awareness Week I would like to give the following information:

CONVERSATIONS; Many people will feel that they do not want to open up due to the appalling stigmas that can be attached to them. Creating a culture of openness and understanding can be an effective way in offering support with many mental health issues. At the next team meeting you have it can be a good idea to start a conversation on mental health & stress so that people can feel comfortable about opening up.

I have attached a booklet from The Mental Health Foundation that can be shared with everyone that gives tips on how to look after your health.

COUNSELLING; As an employer we understand that life can be challenging and that people need additional support through difficult times. Every person who works in our organisation has access to free, non-judgemental, confidential and professional telephone counselling.

People can call Health Assured on 0333 400 0545 and quote Balhousie.

TRAINING; On LearnPro we have a course in ‘Stress Management’ that is available to everyone. Additionally, we will make available a ‘Mental Health & Well Being’ course by the end of the week so that everyone has the opportunity to learn more about this important issue. This can help breakdown stigmas and encourage conversations.

Here is also a link to a stress test from the Mental Health Foundation.

If anyone would like to talk about other methods of training, then please contact me.

COMMUNITY; In our organisation we are a large community but every home and department has their own small community and there are already many positive things happening that can assist people. Mental health can be supported by encouraging friendships, team work, a positive working environment, charity events, fundraising, book clubs, walking challenges plus many more. Anything that can let colleagues get together inside and outside of work so that they can chat and enjoy each other’s company.

For example, here at Head Office we go for regular lunch time walks so that we can get fresh air and exercise. We occasionally have social outings and there is even talk of a hill walk in the coming months.

I hope this information is useful and that we can all be responsible for tackling issues and improving mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.

Jamie Stewart: People Development Coordinator