Normalising the Conversation Around Mental Health

Last week saw the Minerva Employee Council host a series of events in connection with mental health and well-being, a subject that deserves more attention across OMD UK. The Council supported Mental Health Awareness week by providing a range of opportunities open to everyone across the agency, aimed to remove the existing stigma around mental health and normalise conversations around the topic in the long run.

Work-life balance, diet, exercise and openness were the key touchpoints across the week, with LADBible hosting a final panel session on Friday morning. The event closed the week with some meaningful messages and thoughts about what can be done throughout the agency going forward.

OMD UK CEO, Dan Clays, spoke with Simon Gunning, CEO of CALM, the award-winning businesswoman and mental health blogger, Natasha Benjamin and, finally, Swim Dem Crew, who worked with LADBible on its UOKM8 campaign. This encouraged males to use LADBible content in social settings to raise awareness around mental health in a less conventional way. By using UOKM8 as an example, the discussion centred around destigmatising mental wellbeing. The resounding message was in fact that everyone’s mental health should be looked after – it’s about encouraging people to seek help where and when needed.

Those in the panel spoke about their personal experiences with mental health and methods of self-help. From exercise and speaking openly about various barriers faced, to having a daily routine and doing that little bit more, they listed various approaches to full health recovery. It’s important, however, to gauge one’s willingness to talk openly. Sometimes it’s a case of reaching into them, rather than waiting for them to reach out on their own accord.

Our current fast-paced workplace makes it even more crucial to support one another. Working in the direction of normalising conversations around mental health, OMD UK will be releasing training courses for 10-20 people to become mental health first aiders in the agency. This initiative will accompany the existing Employee Assistance Programme, where anyone can confidentially speak to someone for free, by calling 0800 048 2702 or visiting https://unumuk.lifeworks.com/ (User ID: unum, Password: lifeworks).

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