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Combating Loneliness: How MediaCom Marked National Mental Health Awareness Week 2022

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Mental health awareness

Last week was national Mental Health Awareness Week. The theme this year’s theme was loneliness, and we hosted a range of events here at MediaCom to encourage discussion of the topic and raise awareness of the impact of loneliness on our mental health.

Last week was national Mental Health Awareness Week. The theme this year’s theme was loneliness, and we hosted a range of events here at MediaCom to encourage discussion of the topic and raise awareness of the impact of loneliness on our mental health.

The events were organised by our wonderful Mental Health ERG (Employee Resource Group) who work to promote an open forum to discuss mental health issues and challenges, and encourage further understanding and support within the agency.

To kick off the week we were joined by a panel who took an intersectional approach to explore the theme ‘The Impact of Loneliness on our Mental Health’. Our panellists were Remi Arnold, professional counselling and psychotherapist, Mark Sandford, Founder of the Book of Man, and Adrian Wijenathan, MediaCom’s Global Strategy & Analytics Director in Creative Systems, and Mental Health Ally.

During the session the panellists shared their lived experiences and expert opinions. Some of the key takeaways included:

  • Our approach to mental health cannot be one size fits all, we must acknowledge how different cultures present different challenges to destigmatising mental health conversations
  • For some, the pandemic created an opportunity for increased selfcare and routine, and transitioning back to “normality” has meant less focus on mental health. What are the good things from lockdown that we can keep?
  • There is a difference between loneliness and being alone. Loneliness isn’t a choice.
  • People are allowed to hold more than one identity – how can we create space in and out of work for colleagues and friends to speak to all their identities and intersectionalities?

Later in the week we were joined by Michelle Reshef, Founder of Dementia Prevention UK, for a brain health workshop. In the session Michelle spoke to us about the importance of improving and protecting our cognitive abilities, particularly to prevent the onset of dementia.

Michelle’s session was incredibly insightful. Here were some of the key takeaways:

  • The importance of the key principal of cognitive flexibility. Whether that’s in changing your daily routines or taking on the learning and application of new skills throughout life.
  • Dementia affects women roughly 3 times as frequently as men predominantly through the link to Oestrogen. As a result HRT can be an effective means of helping to regulate the chance of dementia developing in later life around the menopause.
  • The onset of dementia happens over 30 year periods. The actions you take today will affect your risk of developing the disease in later life.

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