17 MAY 2021
A year later and we’re here again planning the second consecutive virtual Mental Health Awareness week. This is something we could never have predicted at the start of the pandemic when it seemed like a few weeks would be all it would take before returning to a bustling Theobald’s Road. Of the many lessons we’ve learnt along the way, resilience and an ability to continually reframe and set new expectations are two superpowers which will stand us in good stead for many years to come.
During lockdown we formally started our Mental Health ERG (employee resource group) and established a network of mental health ally check-ins across all our UK offices. The ERG was put in place to bring us closer together and open a forum for open discussion on the many mental health challenges we continue to face as a result of the pandemic.
This year’s Mental Health Awareness week theme was the environment, so we encouraged people to get out and about, where safe and legal to do so, and take team meetings in parks and local areas. We also partnered with the Freshness takeover, led last week by the Facilities team, to signpost great opportunities for local walks and fitness challenges to help maintain our mental health.
As we navigate towards a new phase of living and working, we also wanted the primary focus to be around how our mental health is affected by change and the prospect that returning to the office in some capacity would bring a fresh set of challenges for many.
As a result, we worked directly with ‘Mental Health at Work’ to plan a session on Situational Anxiety. Alongside highlighting the necessity of being kind to ourselves and taking things slowly as we return to a blended way of working, it was really a key theme that office work can offer us a medicine to counter the experience of grief, isolation and a loss of social belonging all of which have a very direct impact on our subjective continuum of mental health.
As we look ahead to the ongoing adaption of the evolving pandemic, we would like to signpost our new & consummate guide to all our latest resources and a handy go to guide for all things mental health and wellness. The MediaCom ‘Little Book of Mental Health’ can be accessed as a digital resource here.
In this guide you will find:
- A whistle-stop tour of mental ill-health conditions and what we actually mean when we’re discussing mental health
- An update on our Mental Health Allies and ERG and the relevant roles and responsibilities. Here you will find handy info on how to access on ally should you need support along with reassurance on the confidentiality of the listening service we provide
- A how to guide on supporting those around you with their mental health journeys
- External and internal signposting best practises
The guide concludes with a synopsis of our MediaCom Mental Health journey and is really a chance to reflect on how far we’ve come since 2017. Whether that’s the incredibly powerful mental health stories which really helped to kickstart the process of destigmatising mental health, or the Allies check-in support network we’ve established to meet the needs of the global pandemic this is a shared project that’s bought us all much closer together. We commit to an ongoing journey with mental health across our network and look forward to many more challenging and rewarding exchanges which can help to give a platform to mental health as a central pillar of a healthy and happy working life.
As ever our centralised SharePoint also includes a full list of all the different support available to you. This includes information about parental support, a grief and loss guide and Grief webinar and the details for different services you can access including our Mental Health Allies, EAP, Unmind and NABS.