It’s Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK and the theme is kindness, something that the world over has seen in response to fighting the devastating effects of the pandemic.
With so many people restricted in terms of how they go about their daily lives, and many isolated from friends and family, and support networks, mental health is a key topic for us all.
While we quickly transitioned into full remote working across our Group we recognised the need to increase focus on health and well-being as part of our response activities. Crowd sourcing ideas on Yammer, we had quickly had a number of initiatives in place, including weekly themes from storytelling for children of colleagues, to cooking classes to exercise. And each week we’ve run light touch surveys, giving people the chance to raise their hand to ask for help.
This was all enhanced with local initiatives too. Our colleagues in North America launched Brew with the Crew with the idea of getting to know each other a little bit better or chatting to someone they hadn’t had the chance to meet before now. A simple idea that involves a video call on Teams but has had the greatest impact on those that otherwise would never have reached out. Colleagues share something they’ve learned about their new contact and we’re seeing the start of some great collaborations as a result.
We have music playlists made for colleagues wanting to get out for a run, lunch meetings all over the world for anybody to get involved in (thanks to varying time zones, for some, this might be breakfast or supper), and more recently a great new initiative created by our global Software Resilience division called Helping Hand.
Helping Hand is a support network that colleagues can call upon should they need any help or emotional support. Helping Hand volunteers will be available for colleagues to share any worries or concerns, or if they are just in need of a friendly chat.
Volunteers will also be on hand to help point colleagues to the wide range of NCC Group resources that are available as well as local external support networks.
Whatever the initiative, it’s good to talk and mental health and well-being is firmly on our agenda – more now than ever.
Be kind to yourself.