World Mental Health Day 2021

World Mental Health Day 2021

Stephanie Stewart


World Mental Health Day is on 10th October; an event that has been running for almost 30 years, during which time openness in talking about mental health has dramatically increased. Nine Twenty Recruitment are supporting #WorldMentalHealthDay 2021, which this year is focussing on Mental Health in an Unequal World. This theme highlights that access to mental health services remains unequal, with between 75% to 95% of people with mental health disorders in low- and middle-income countries unable to access mental health services at all, and access in high income countries is not much better.

Mental health problems are exceedingly common in the workplace, and it is the leading cause of sickness and absence. A staggering 70 million workdays are lost each year due to mental health problems in the UK.

The impact of the Pandemic over the past 18 months has had a detrimental effect on the mental health of millions of employees worldwide. Sudden pandemic related changes such as job loss, the introduction of remote working with subsequent social isolation, the change in environment and activities, as well as financial burdens of lockdowns and concerns that follow around returning to an office environment, have all been challenges that many employees have had to overcome, and as a result have impacted many people mentally in different ways.

World Mental Health Day provides us with an opportunity to reflect and consider ways employers and employees can take action, by providing activities that support their staff in addition to ongoing employee programmes. At work, we might notice a difference in our nature such as being more tired than usual, making uncharacteristic mistakes, finding it hard to motivate ourselves, our timekeeping might slip, or we may be short tempered. We may find these early warning signs hard to see in ourselves, and it can help to have colleagues who can help us connect this to our mental health. An essential building block for workplace mental health is the ability to have open, authentic conversations about mental health in the workplace, both individually and on a strategic level. This is more important than ever as we recover from the impact of the pandemic.

Nine Twenty Recruitment have introduced various Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP) to support all our staff. Employees now have access to Private Healthcare through Vitality Healthcare which offers support tools such as “Headspace”, “Vitality Rewards” and “Mental Health Support”. These resources are available to all staff to assist their mental health at work. We have encouraged the team to use these resources to ensure they develop good routines throughout their working day.

There are a variety of different resources accessible, My Health Assured is the UK and Ireland's most trusted independent health and wellbeing provider. It is a platform that helps you get the tools to live a happier and healthier life.

Nine Twenty recently carried out a Nine Twenty Wellbeing Challenge, where we actively encouraged our employees to complete daily challenges which aligned our mind and bodies. These challenges included topics such as a cold shower, online fitness sessions, and listening to a mindful podcast. All of which have positive impacts on the body and mind. You can give the Nine Twenty Wellbeing Challenge a try HERE.

Gordon Brown, CEO of Nine Twenty Recruitment recognises the importance of promoting healthy working habits. “I feel strongly about promoting positive mental health routines as well as ensuring all staff have access to resources. Earlier this year Nine Twenty implemented various Employee Assistance Programmes, and as we recover from the effects of the pandemic its crucial to support our employees in the best way we can.”

We can all take steps to improve our own mental health and build our resilience and our ability to cope with adversity. Self-care is a skill that needs to be practised.

Try looking through the 10 evidence-based ways to improve your mental health:

  1. Talk about your feelings

  2. Keep active

  3. Eat well

  4. Drink sensibly

  5. Keep in touch

  6. Ask for help

  7. Take a break

  8. Do something you’re good at

  9. Accept who you are

  10. Care for others

Mental health affects us all, it’s the way we think and feel, and it can fluctuate as circumstances change. When we enjoy good mental health, we have a sense of purpose and direction, the energy to do the things we want to do, and the ability to deal with the challenges that occur in our lives. When we think about our physical health, we know that there’s a place for keeping ourselves fit, and a place for getting appropriate help as early as possible so we can get better. Mental health is just the same.

If you enjoy good mental health, you can:

  • Make the most of your potential

  • Cope with what life throws at you

  • Play a full part in your relationships, your workplace, and your community

Mental Health is a topic the majority of people can relate to, yet stigma still rises.

“What Mental Health needs is more sunshine, more candour, and more unashamed conversation” Glenn Close


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