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Mental Health Awareness Week 2024 at Walker Sime

Mental Health Awareness Week 2024 at Walker Sime

Education. Conversation. Decluttering. Pizza! Alison Pemberton looks at everything that’s happening at Walker Sime in support of Mental Health Awareness Week.

1 in 4 people experience mental health issues each year. For some, mental health will be an ongoing challenge. For others, this year might be the first time they’ve ever questioned their mental health. And for many more, their concern may not be for themselves, but for a loved one, a friend or work colleague.

We want to help our people stay healthy and we want to make it easier for them to ask for or offer support when it’s needed. That’s why, this Mental Health Awareness Week, we’re working to raise understanding, offer some practical support, and make it easier to talk about mental health — this week and every week.

Here’s what we’re up to.

Up to speed with mental health

When you spend a lot of your time dealing with mental health (like we do), it’s easy to forget that lots of people don’t. You might never consider your own or someone else’s mental wellbeing until there’s an issue.

That’s why, over the next month, Machala Campbell, our Business Improvement and Development Officer, will be rolling out a new course called Introduction to Mental Health. It explores various conditions and how to effectively support people who are experiencing them.

We’re asking everyone at Walker Sime to complete the course over the next month.

Declutter your space; declutter your mind

There’s lots of evidence to suggest that clutter increases procrastination, reduces focus and affects concentration. Decluttering, on the other hand, improves all the above while reducing anxiety and giving you a better sense of being in control.

So, this month, we’re asking everyone in the organisation to take 20 minutes to declutter their space. And in anticipation of a few people pointing out that their workspace is already a model of zen-like calm, we’re asking them to spend 20 minutes decluttering office drawers, cupboards or cabinets too. Not only should that help free up some valuable space; it should create a calmer, clutter-free work environment too.

Fun, food and frames (of mind)

Did you know that a balanced breakfast can help improve mood and boost cognitive performance (as well as offering lots of physical health benefits)?

That’s why this week we’ll be hosting two breakfast sessions for our teams (one in the Liverpool office and one in Manchester) and we’re inviting them to join us for breakfast and a friendly natter over freshly baked pastries, yogurt and muesli pots, mini muffins and fresh fruit.

Walker Sime Mental Health Awareness Week breakfast get together in Manchester

Unwinding is also good for mental wellbeing (although we’re on rather dodgier ground trying to claim the health benefits of pizza). Nevertheless, we’ll be finishing Mental Health Awareness Week with bowling and pizza at the Trafford Centre.

Protecting mental health every day

Mental Health Awareness Week is really important for focusing attention and action, but we know it’s even more important to make sure that we’re looking out for each other’s mental health all year round. We do that through our Social Value Committee who run a range of events throughout the year including walks, rock climbing, cooking and the bowling event above, lots of which can benefit mental health.

And we do it through our brilliant Mental Health First Aiders, who are always available for a walk and chat (or just a chat). They’re there when they’re needed, to check in with colleagues who can get some tips and techniques and coping mechanisms for protecting their wellbeing.

Life can be stressful. Work is too sometimes. And with everything going on in the world right now, it’s hardly surprising that many more people feel that their mental health is taking a bit of a battering. At Walker Sime, our first aiders and the Social Value Committee are working to make sure no one faces mental stress alone.

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