It’s World Mental Health Day 2022 and the theme this year is ‘make mental health and well-being for all a global priority’. Does your business recognise World Mental Health Day? If so, how? 

Read below to learn more about this incredible day and how you could celebrate.

Origins of the day

World mental Health Day began on the 10th of October 1992, thanks to an initiative by the World Federation For Mental Health – a global organisation with over 150 member nations. The first year didn’t have a specific theme apart from spreading awareness, but all the following years have had a theme attached. 

In 1994, the first World Mental Health Day was celebrated with the theme – ‘Improving the quality of Mental Health Services throughout the world’. In those days, World Mental Heath Day was observed only on the actual day, the 10th of October, but in recent years this has progressed to World Mental Health Week. Now, many countries worldwide celebrate for an entire week in the run-up to the 10th of October. 

On average, 1 in 6 employees struggles with mental health, whether anxiety, depression or stress and 12% of sick leave in the UK is linked to employees struggling with mental health rather than physical health. These figures are shocking and show how important it is for employers to recognise mental health issues and address them accordingly. 

How Can Businesses Recognise This Day?

Your company could celebrate by hosting a workshop where tips and ideas can be shared between employees about the importance of noticing signs of someone struggling with mental health. This could help workers who have never experienced any mental health problems pinpoint behaviour in others that could, at some point, be crucial and even life-saving. Another benefit of this activity is for the people who have struggled with their mental health; it could help them not to feel alone and teach them tips on dealing with their struggles and how to ask for help in those times of need. 

Many businesses that are present on social media hold campaigns in the run-up to World Mental Health Day by using hashtags such as #worldmentalhealthday followed by the current year. You can also share content from other pages to help raise awareness, but remember, such campaigns are for raising awareness, don’t attempt to profit off the back of it. 

Lastly, as the business, you could offer each employee a green ribbon, symbolising World Mental Health Day. You could charge £2 per ribbon and donate all the profits to a Mental Health Foundation.

What Else Can We Do?

There are many ways businesses can aid their employees with mental health support. A common activity nowadays is the creation of group networks across several platforms, the most popular being Slack, as the group capacity in this app is very high.

Another option is for your company to create a Facebook group surrounding the issue of mental health. Inspirational messages, quotes and motivational memes could be shared between workers to help keep spirits high, even on a Monday morning. In a Facebook group, there’s also the possibility to hold lives and share videos from motivational speakers and mental health specialists outside of the company; these don’t need to be mandatory to attend or watch but giving employees the option is always good.

Both of these networks could be used to share important links, articles or other tools that could benefit someone struggling with mental health.

To finish this post on an important note, if you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, depression or suicidal thoughts, seek help as soon as possible. We’ve listed below some contacts:

  • Call 111 if you or someone close to you is suicidal.
  • You can anonymously contact a free therapist through your GP surgery from the UK government website.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Phone Number: 1-(800)-273‑TALK (8255), Live Online Chat.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.

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