It is becoming widely acknowledged that mental health deserves the same treatment as physical health. Mental health is the state of our emotions and our ability to cope with our everyday lives whilst mental illness is a condition which affects our ability to cope with everyday lives. Everyone has mental health, but not everyone has a mental illness. Mental illness and mental good health can often come and go throughout the course of a lifetime. It can be affected by a number of different factors including life events and even genetics.
Mental health, mental illness and the discourse surrounding them are slowly yet surely beginning to shed the stigma they have carried for so long. For centuries, mental health conditions have been a source of misunderstanding, discrimination and even violence yet this is beginning to change as more is discovered about mental health, and the discourse surrounding mental health has become increasingly positive and supportive.
This has lead to improved knowledge and further study. In the UK:
1/2 of all mental health problems are established by the age of 14.
Poor mental health carries an economic and social cost of £105 billion a year in England and £10.8 billion a year in Scotland.
The workplace appears to be a key factors. In UK workplaces….
In 2018 alone, there were 595,000 cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety leading to 15.4 million working days lost.
239,000 workers suffered from a new case of work-related stress, depression or anxiety.
The main cause of work-related stress, depression or anxiety was due to peoples ‘workload’, accounting for 44% of all cases.
For this reason, Towers Virtual Tours has rolled out some measures to provide staff with support they may require throughout their career both inside and outside of the office.
1. Wellbeing team
Towers Virtual Tours have a dedicated, trained team to implement positive measures to ensure a happy and supportive workplace. 4 of our team (Kate, Finn, Amy and Chloe) have received a Level 2 qualification in Mental Health First Aid which has provided them with the information needed to be able to take appropriate actions in case of a mental health crisis at work. Not only this, but the course has allowed the team to learn how to listen actively, spot the early signs of mental health decline and how to approach colleagues who may need help.
2. Mental health non-discrimination policies
Towers Virtual Tours does not discriminate against those experiencing ill mental health. We are proud of the procedures we have put in place to support staff who are experiencing difficulties but also proud that this plays a role in our recruitment process.
3. Charity work and community projects
It is believed that the more people give back to their communities, the better our mental health may become. Giving back to the community is a fantastic way to do good for others and for ourselves. In fact, these activities are shown to reduce feelings of hopelessness, purposeless and isolation all of which are common symptoms of mental health conditions. Our staff have several opportunities to take part in group events which are unrelated to the daily business of the company in our fundraising and partnership commitments. Activities so far have included a company walk around the Caribbean. Unfortunately, we couldn’t actually walk around the Caribbean but we did the equivalent steps in teams to raise money for a great cause: the Lily Mae Foundation. We plan to do many more of these events in future.
4. Support outside of work
Whilst mental health procedures in the workplace are great within office hours, outside of work, we like to make sure that staff have support too. We do this by sharing hints and tips via email to maintain good physical and mental health, testing out meditation and mindfulness apps as a team and sharing new insight with the workforce.
In addition, we use a rewards system (PerkBox) which provides discounted physical and mental health services for our staff to access cheaply 24/7.
If you would like to know more, get in touch!