World Mental Health Day 2020

By Natalie Owen, HR Advisor

Saturday 10 October marked World Mental Health Day; it was first celebrated in 1992. In the 28 years since we first commemorated this day, 2020 has seen it gather more attention than ever before. This year the pandemic has no doubt been a reminder to us all that a fundamental aspect of our health is mental health, and we must acknowledge and take care of our emotional and psychological wellbeing. The theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day was ‘mental health for all’, and it reflects the fact that around the world billions of people are navigating their physical and mental space in response to COVID 19.

At HLK people are at the heart of everything we do, maintaining a strong sense of community whilst working remotely has been central to the way we have adapted our approach to remaining connected and ensuring that support for mental health remains strong and intact. Last year’s World Mental Health Day article discussed the steps already being taken to support HLK employees with their mental and physical wellbeing. From the launch of our wellbeing programme, HoListiK, to implementing a Mental Health First Aider (MHFA) programme, and the establishment of a Mental Health and Wellbeing Group. All with the aims of creating a considerate workplace, addressing the stigma surrounding mental health and enabling everyone to feel safe discussing mental health whilst offering support to all.

We have since bolstered our employee assistance programme to include further support to colleagues for mental health and in ensuring support for mental health for all, our wellbeing programme has become remote. We organise regular HLK community events including guided meditation, Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates etc. This month to celebrate World Mental Health day we’re very excited to have Nick Elston as a guest speaker to discuss his lived experience with mental health encouraging an open forum for discussion and awareness.

As part of our commitment to mental health wellbeing, we continue to support Jonathan’s Voice, which was set up in 2017, in memory of Jonathan McCartney with the purpose of working ‘work with organisations and individuals to promote mental wellbeing in the workplace and beyond’.

If you take anything away from World Mental Health day, it should be that we all have mental health and so it is important to remember that it is just as vital to care for your physical as well as mental wellbeing. Support should be available for all who experience poor mental health, within HLK, this idea is central to our approach. It’s our hope that this day provides a foundation for discussion and is a step closer to reducing the social stigma surrounding mental health.