This week marks Mental Health Awareness Week (10-16 May 2021) and for us at Castle Lane, it is something we take very seriously.
Poor mental health can affect every single one of us. Whether it is stress at home or work, in our relationships or worries about money, there are a myriad of reasons why so many of us experience stress, anxiety and depression at some point in our lives.
It is estimated that 1 in 6 people in the past week experienced a common mental health problem (source).
And unaddressed and unspoken about, poor mental health can lead to suicide, particularly amongst men, who accounted for three-quarters of UK deaths by suicide in 2018 (source).
We therefore believe in creating a supportive environment in the workplace, where all our staff can come and talk about how they feel, without judgement, in the knowledge that we care as much about their mental health as their physical health.
To this end, we have also implemented the following, to help support everyone to have good mental health:
Mental health first aiders
Alongside training in first aid, we have invested in training up some of our team as mental health first aiders.
This training has ensured that two of our team now have:
- An in-depth understanding of mental health and the factors that can affect wellbeing
- Practical skills to spot the triggers and signs of mental health issues
- Confidence to step in, reassure and support a person in distress
- Enhanced interpersonal skills such as non-judgemental listening
- Knowledge to help someone recover their health by guiding them to further support – whether that’s self-help resources, through their employer, the NHS, or a mix
Regular supervisions and mental health surveys
Looking after our team with regular supervision sessions is an important part of our staff welfare.
We also conduct regular mental health surveys, to gather anonymous feedback about how our staff feel and how we could improve their workplace environment.
An open door policy
It is not just the formal supervision sessions that are important. We also operate an ‘open door’ policy so that our team can come and talk to us at any time.
This could be because there is an issue at work they need help with. Or there might be something at home that they need support with. As a nursery, our staff mental health is one of our top priority.
Pick me ups gifts for the staff team
We love to show our team how much they’re appreciated and using local suppliers is particularly important to us.
That’s we recently commissioned Truly Unique Cakes to make each staff member some gorgeous cakes.
We have also had mugs made for everyone, complete with their name and a nourishing face mask. All essential tools to help unwind after a hard day at work!