Keeping ourselves in mind
At the Wales Co-operative Centre, we’re maintaining a commitment to support the mental health and wellbeing of staff by working on a new campaign that will help to raise awareness of support services, as well as encouraging people to talk about mental health in the workplace.
You may recall Catherine Evans and I getting involved in the Time to Change Wales ‘Be Extraordinary’ campaign, late last year. That video helped to show what the Centre was doing to start conversations around mental health and, to our knowledge, has helped people in other organisations and businesses to do the same.
Now, our team of Diversity Champions is about to reinforce that effort by identifying and distributing marketing materials to all staff, with details of helplines and factsheets. It’s hoped this will make us better equipped to talk about mental health and potentially support a colleague that might be experiencing a mental health problem.
Also, along with Teej Dew, our Financial Inclusion Programme Director, I’m preparing to speak at the Mental Health Today Wales conference, which is being held in Cardiff on May 20th. I’ll be speaking on the topic of digital inclusion and mental health, with Leanne Rowlands of Newport City Council, looking at why people with mental health problems can benefit from using computers and being online. Teej is covering the topic of financial inclusion and mental health, looking at issues such as Welfare Reforms, credit unions and how the advice sector can get people the right support when they need it most.
Let’s not forget that 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their life, while as many as 1 in 8 people are currently taking anti-depressants to treat an existing mental health condition. In my opinion, the scale of the mental health issue in Wales cannot be overstated; we can all play a part, simply by making the effort to learn more about mental health and by keeping in touch with a friend, relative or colleague who may be experiencing mental ill health right now.