Mental health is a vital aspect of our overall health and wellbeing. It affects how we think, feel, and behave, and it impacts our ability to function in our daily lives. Mental health problems can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, or socioeconomic status. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of stigma surrounding mental illness, which can make it difficult for people to seek help when they need it.
Mental Health Awareness Week is an annual event that takes place during the month of May. It aims to raise awareness and start conversations about mental health, and it is an opportunity to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and encourage people to seek help if they need it.
This initiative focuses on educating the public about mental health and wellbeing, promoting positive mental health practices, and providing information about the resources available for those who need help. The event typically includes a range of activities, such as seminars, workshops, community events, and social media campaigns, all geared towards raising awareness and reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness. The theme of Mental Health Awareness Week changes every year, with each theme highlighting a different aspect of mental health and wellbeing.
This year’s theme is anxiety. Everyone can feel anxious. But when you live with severe mental illness, anxiety can reach a whole new level. Stigma. Discrimination. Lack of support. Side effects of medication. Mania. Psychosis. Limited access to housing, employment, and welfare. These are all unique anxieties, faced daily by those of us experiencing mental illness.
Mental Health & Blaze Signs
The leadership of Blaze Signs has continually recognised the importance and impact of mental health and their employees, and we’ve been seeking new ways to support the members of the Blaze Team who may need our help at any given moment. As their employer, we feel we have a portion of the responsibility to protect and support our staff, ensuring that they have the resources and people available to them with ease.
External Health Plan Providers
SimplyHealth is a UK-based company that offers a range of healthcare-related services, including health insurance, dental plans, and wellness programs. This is the service provider chosen by Blaze Signs to offer our employees support in both their physical and mental wellbeing. As part of their offerings, SimplyHealth provides an Employment Support Line to support individuals in the workplace.
The SimplyHealth Employment Support Line is a confidential and accessible helpline designed to assist our employees with various work-related challenges and concerns. It aims to provide practical advice, guidance, and emotional support to help individuals navigate workplace issues and maintain their well-being.
The Employment Support Line is staffed by a team of trained professionals who are experienced in providing assistance in areas such as employment rights, workplace stress, mental health, and work-life balance. These professionals are knowledgeable about relevant legislation and regulations and can offer guidance on a wide range of work-related matters.
When members of the Blaze Team contact the Employment Support Line, they can expect to receive practical support and advice on issues such as:
- Employment Rights: Individuals can receive information and guidance regarding their rights and responsibilities in the workplace. This may include topics such as contracts, working hours, leave entitlements, and employment regulations.
- Workplace Stress: The helpline provides support for individuals experiencing stress or pressure at work. They can offer coping strategies, stress management techniques, and guidance on maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
- Mental Health Support: SimplyHealth understands the importance of mental health in the workplace. The Employment Support Line offers guidance on managing mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression, and provides information on accessing appropriate support and resources.
- Work-related Relationships: The helpline can assist individuals in dealing with workplace conflicts, difficult colleagues or managers, and improving communication and relationships at work.
- Career Development: SimplyHealth’s Employment Support Line can provide advice on career development, including guidance on job searching, interview skills, and professional growth.
The overarching goal is to offer practical guidance and emotional support to help individuals address their work-related concerns and maintain their well-being in the workplace.
Utilising public resources
Blaze management and leadership utilise the available resources from charities that specialise in mental health and wellbeing to provide assistance and a helping hand to our employees.
Mind is a well-known charity based in the United Kingdom that Blaze Signs use to bolster our own mental health and wellbeing initiatives. They focus on promoting and supporting mental health. The organization was established in 1946 and has since become one of the leading mental health charities in the country.
The primary goal of Mind is to provide information, advice, and support to individuals experiencing mental health problems. They aim to empower people to understand and manage their mental health effectively. Mind offers a wide range of services and resources, both online and offline, to ensure that help is accessible to as many people as possible.
One of Mind’s key initiatives is their advocacy for better mental health policies and services. They work towards influencing government policies, challenging stigma and discrimination, and promoting mental well-being at both the individual and societal levels. Mind campaigns for improved access to mental health care, better treatment options, and increased funding for mental health services.
In addition to advocacy, Mind also provides direct support through their various services. They have a helpline that offers confidential advice and information to anyone in need. Their website offers a wealth of resources, including fact sheets, guides, and personal stories, covering a wide range of mental health conditions and topics.
Overall, Mind plays a crucial role in our mental health and wellbeing intiatives, providing support to individuals, and advocating for improved mental health services. On a more country-wide scale, their efforts have helped countless individuals and have contributed to a more compassionate and understanding approach to mental health in society.
Safe spaces at our facilities
The third piece to the puzzle is the Blaze Safe Spaces. These areas are outdoors and open to fresh air, with seating and covering in case of bad weather, decorated with some imagery. A safe space is an area where our team members can go when they need a moment, some time to get away from whatever it is going on both at work and in general life. They’re only allowed to be used for this purpose, which ensures that anyone who needs it at any time of day is going to be able to use it.
The ability to be alone for even 5 minutes, to break away from a stressful day, week or month is crucial, it allows you to relax and forget about the rest of the world for a moment, or if you’d prefer, think things through and understand what your next steps should be. Overall, safe spaces are critical for promoting mental and emotional wellbeing.
It may be Mental Health Awareness week this week, but that doesn’t mean we should forget about it next week, this is a continuous issue for millions of people in all corners of the country. We must always make sure the people around us are doing okay, and if they’re not, attempt to support in any way we can, even if that means just buying them a coffee and sitting down to start the conversation.