DAM support Mental Health Awareness week | May 2020
The coronavirus outbreak has truly brought out the best in humanity as individuals far and wide are uniting to support and care for one another throughout this difficult time. That's why the theme for Mental Health Awareness week is kindness - a response to the coronavirus outbreak, which is having a big impact on people's Mental Health.
Mark Rowland, chief executive of the Mental Health Foundation, said: "We want to use Mental Health Awareness Week to celebrate the thousands of acts of kindness that are so important to our mental health. And we want to start a discussion on the kind of society we want to shape as we emerge from this pandemic."
For many, this year may be particuarly difficult for Mental Health, as feelings of isolation, lonliness, uncertainty and a lack of purpose are common as a result of lockdown, and unemployment/ furlough schemes in place. And naturally, it is much harder to check in on your employees when social distancing measures dictate how close we can be to one another.
However, whilst you are phycially limited in how you can interact with your staff, it is important to remember that there are still many ways that workplaces can get involved in random acts of kindness including:
- Video call a colleague to check in on them
- Suggest a virtual cup of tea
- Send an e-card to let an employee know you are thinking about them
- Notice someone isn't themselves and take the time to ask how they are
In particular, through utilising technology to keep in regular face-to-face contact with your employees, both working and furloughed, this will mean you can help to provide some sense or normalcy for thos who may be feeling particualy lonely at the moment. This may also enable you to recognise any changes in an employees behaviour that may indicate a need for Mental Health support, and allow you to offer necessary signposting and support.
Part of this, for example, may involve reminding your staff of the already existing benefits available to them as part of their contractual benefits package. For example, Group Protection policies such as Income Protection and Critical Illness Cover may include access to a range of support services such as Employee Assistance Programme which offers a range of wellbeing resources and counselling for employees who may be dealing with troubles at home, financial strife or Mental Health Issues.
What are we doing at DAM?
Here at DAM, we are actively encouraging all employees to keep in regular contact with one another via a range of technological features such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, with the management team organising weekly quizes for all staff members to join in each Friday afternoon. Our Managing Director, Lorraine Kellie, has also regularly been emailing important information round to all staff members regarding tips and useful links for staying active and healthy, as well as ensuring all employees are aware of the employee wellbeing resources available, for example the Employee Assistance Programme which is available to all staff memebrs at all times as part of our group income protection scheme.