Mental health can be a difficult topic to bring up at the best of times, especially in the workplace. But despite recent shifts in attitudes, outdated stigmas still linger and can hinder an open discussion of the issue.
We believe that all businesses have an obligation to provide a supportive environment for any employee experiencing a mental health issue, which is why we partnered with the EEA and Breaking the Silence to host our first annual mental health learning event.
Over 70 HR professionals attended the five-hour-long session, which sought to provide a greater understanding of mental wellbeing, the commitment employers should make to their employees, and the ways in which HR teams can be effective and empathetic in their support.
David Beeney from Breaking the Silence opened the day by discussing the journey his organisation has made in its first two years of operation. David, who himself suffered from mental health issues in silence for over thirty years, now uses his experience to help businesses implement mental health and wellbeing strategies in the workplace.
David was followed by Jonathan Phelan from Evenhood, who explained what makes a conversation “mentally healthy” and how to have them in the right way. After a short break, George Bettany from Sanctus spoke about mental health and fitness in the workplace, and Andrew Rodgers from HSBC discussed his own personal experiences and how they shaped his outlook of PTSD and mental health at work.
The most effective way to break down a stigma is to actively address it, by promoting an environment in which it doesn’t exist, and discussing the issues that it aims to suppress without shame or hesitation.
At Peakon, we’ve made our own commitments to care for the mental health of our team, and we want to support every other organisation in doing the same.