Mental health has always been something that we speak openly about at Energy UK. We ensure that the team knows how they can support their own wellbeing and where they can get support when they need it.
I had already started planning for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) back in January, researching different options for speakers to come into the office for ‘Lunch and Learn’ sessions.
However, then the lockdown happened and I had to rethink my plans. With our whole organisation now working remotely, it was even more important to support people as they adjusted to a whole new way of working and work/life balance.
This year’s MHAW theme is kindness. A poignant topic for the current situation and something that the country (and even the world) has shown they can give in abundance through the ‘Clap for our Carers’ on a Thursday evening.
I wanted to make anything we did as interactive as possible to ensure that staff were able to participate and share ideas. The importance of this week is to show that people are there for you and can help you through difficult times, so what better way to help by sharing the way they show kindness and other inspirational ideas.
I decided to base each day of the week on kindness in different aspects of life: friends and family, home, community, work, and most importantly, being kind to yourself – something that people often forget.
We created top tips cards to share with staff each day on a specially created channel in Microsoft Teams, which we are using internally to collaborate and communicate across the organisation, and I have been encouraging people to comment and share ideas for each daily tip.
We are halfway through the week and the response has been extremely positive. I am very proud of how colleagues have responded with their tips and experiences of what they have been doing to share the kindness this week – some cooking for their household, speaking to friends and family they haven’t spoken to in a while, shopping for neighbours, sharing recipes and sharing kindness quotes to help to inspire colleagues for the day.
With all of us working virtually, it is more important than ever that we stay connected to ensure that the great caring comradeship that Energy UK enjoys continues. Mental Health Awareness Week has given us an opportunity to cement this even further and continue the great work that we do. The final part of our celebration of kindness will arrive by post to colleagues later in the week.
Nicola Rowland, Executive Assistant and HR Manager