Category: testimonial, Mental Health, Staff Networks, Staff Testimonial, mental health first aiders, Top Tips, mental, staff network group, mental health awareness, mental health at work, Mental health first Aid training, CityFibre
At CityFibre, we pride ourselves on putting our people first and providing an inclusive environment where everyone can flourish and be themselves. Supporting our employees’ mental health is incredibly important to us - that’s why we’ve appointed 32 Mental Health First Aiders across CityFibre, to support wellbeing and encourage a culture of openness and honesty around mental health.
To celebrate the launch of our MHFA programme, we spoke to Chloe, Johnhenry and Jon, three of our new Mental Health First Aiders about the five best ways to support mental health at work.
1. Start the conversation
It’s vital not to stimagise mental health. By being open about the importance of mental health, it signals to everyone working here that it’s a topic we don’t shy away from.
At CityFibre, that conversation is led by our business leaders. As Johnhenry recollects, “As soon as I joined CityFibre, I listened to our CEO talk about mental health and making sure we’re all looking after ourselves.”
2. Keep talking
Opening up the conversation about mental health is a good first step, but it’s also important to encourage everyone in the business to speak up when something isn’t right. Whether it’s stress, anxiety or a more serious mental health concern, making sure everyone has somebody to talk to is the key to finding the right help and support.
Chloe advises anyone struggling to “Reach out to your manager, who can put you in touch with a Mental Health First Aider. No matter what you’re struggling with, there are so many people and organisations who can help. Don’t brush it under the carpet - then it could become an even bigger issue.”
Johnhenry agrees: “Talking is so important. If you’re struggling with something, my advice is to talk to one of the Mental Health First Aiders. We’re here to listen, not to judge, and to help you with anything that’s causing concern or stress. We may not have all the answers, but we’ll make sure you get the help and support you need.”
3. Inspire and inform
Taking people out of their daily routine is a great way to relieve stress and provide much-needed headspace. During lockdown, we delivered a whole range of wellbeing sessions for our employees, including virtual yoga and pilates, as well as workshops on topics such as healthy eating and managing anxiety.
Jon found the access to online learning particularly helpful: “We have online training and learning hubs available to us that raise awareness of different subjects. It’s been even more relevant in the current climate and during COVID with the workforce being in our own homes with less social interaction.”
4. Make wellbeing a priority
Wellbeing is much more than a ‘nice to have’; it’s an essential part of caring for employees. At CityFibre, everyone has access to rewards and benefits that support their mental and physical wellbeing.
As Jon explains, “CityFibre has provided lots of different benefits and schemes to look after our mental and physical health, including private health care, cycling to work schemes, and links with organisations like Mind.”
5. Empower people to help
We started our Mental Health First Aid programme to give people from across the business the tools and knowledge they need to support their own and their colleagues’ mental health.
Johnhenry explains why he was keen to get involved in the programme: “I’ve always been an advocate for mental health - coming from an armed forces background, I’ve not always been able to express my feelings openly. CityFibre, however, offers a culture where it’s ok not to be ok. I wanted to play my part in helping our CityFibre family, especially at the moment, when looking after one another is so important.”
Chloe wanted to draw on her own experiences to help others: “As someone who has previously suffered with mental health issues, I felt that I could help people and relate to how they’re feeling without judging. Colleagues, contractors and friends confide in me all the time, and I wanted guidance on how to provide real support.”
Thanks Chloe, Johnhenry and Jon. You’re doing a fantastic job of supporting mental health in the workplace and creating a more open, inclusive environment for everyone. Keep an eye out for Time To Talk Day on the 4th of February, when we’ll be talking more about mental health in the workplace.