Today's blog in the #BeTheRippleBlogs series is a piece from Valentina Hynes entitled 'Wellbeing at Work'.
Valentina is Creative Head of SVH Inc., specialists in Holistic Wellbeing & Happiness at Work through Away Day Experiences for Continuous Professional Development facilitation.
You can find Valentina on LinkedIn: Here.
Over to Valentina:
Wellbeing at Work
While Mental Health Awareness in the Workplace is becoming more widespread, for most organisations, it is still a tick box exercise at best, and in some cases, doesn’t go beyond EAPs and signposting. It is not enough to take Mental Health First Aid courses. Measures should be put in place to avoid the stress container getting filled up and overflowing.
In 2017, my husband suffered a heart attack brought on by work related stress. Before this, I had watched him gradually change, his smile dim, anxiety rise and work become a third partner in our marriage. This horrible experience led to our investigating wellbeing in the workplace.
According to MIND, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem while only 1 in 6 will report it and get help. This appalling statistic led to our creating SVH Inc.
At an Away Day Experience we held in July, one of the delegates talked about losing 7 friends to suicide this year as a result of workplace stress and anxiety. An associate of mine lost his son to suicide in December, 2019. The ONS reports an average of 18 suicides per day.
Pre-Pandemic, it was reported by MIND, that £8bn was lost yearly due to Absenteeism, while about £26bn was lost due to Presenteeism. Poor mental health costs Employers about £1,600 per employee, yearly.
What will the losses be post-pandemic as we all grapple with the impact on our collective wellbeing?
Why isn’t more being done to protect people’s mental health especially at work?
Unfortunately, legally, companies can get away with tick boxing because of the vagueness of the ‘Duty of Care’ law. More needs to be done.
This is why I am petitioning the UK Parliament and PM to make holistic wellbeing at work compulsory.
Wellbeing at work should be approached holistically to ensure healthy mental health. A holistic approach creates protective factors that build resilience, boost productivity and increase engagement. A win for all. Protective factors in the forms of continuous professional development that promote life skills and community engagement like away days, volunteering opportunities, informal round tables that build team bonding go a long way to ensure the stress container doesn’t fill up and overflow.
Would you #BeTheRipple that changes the Workplace to a kind, empathic and nurturing place where we can bring our whole selves and put in our best creativity and effort for the success of all? Then, please sign and share this petition. https://www.change.org/Wellbeingatwork
Thank you so much to Valentina for sharing this piece and the link to her petition. I wholeheartedly agree that more needs to be done to ensure that individuals are safeguarded in the workplace and that's the whole reason that I created the #BeTheRipple movement - I have signed the petition, will you?
If you are not yet a member of the #BeTheRipple community, we would love you to join us. You can find us on Twitter: @BeTheRipple2020 and/or in our LinkedIn community: Here
Thank you once again to Valentina for sharing this piece, a reminder of just how important it is that organisations demonstrate a duty of care towards their employees and take a holistic approach as opposed to purely focusing on profits and outcomes.
If you would like to submit a blog for this series, please send your work via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can find PDFs of all blog pieces: