World Mental Health Day takes place on the 10th October in 2022 (as it does in every year, in fact), so now’s a great time to consider what activities we can hold in the workplace to mark the event and to support staff.

After the last couple of years, mental health is now front and centre for most workplaces. As a result, World Mental Health Day is an absolute must for any business looking to engage their staff.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at 6 workplace activities that every UK business can do to promote positive mental health at work this World Mental Health Day.

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1. Communicate about mental health

If your business already has mental health support in place, through and EAP for example, this is a fantastic opportunity to promote it. You could use a simple poster displayed somewhere, send an email around, or put the info on your intranet.

If you don’t have support in place already, then you can follow the rest of the tips in this article. You’ll have something to shout about when it comes to communicating your mental health support!

2. Talk about mental health at work

It’s a lot easier said than done, but simply talking is one of the best workplace activities for World Mental Health Day. Gather your staff for a chat and a cup of tea whilst sharing experiences. It can be hugely beneficial and can encourage people to open up about issues that are troubling them.

It’s important not to use this activity to pressure anyone into sharing. Use it simply indicate that mental health isn’t a taboo topic, and can be discussed openly a freely.

If staff aren’t comfortable sharing, you could also encourage them to discuss mental health in the media. For example, you could look at celebrities who’ve struggled with mental health issues.

3. Practise gratitude for positive mental health

Gratitude practise is a key component of mindfulness. It can really enhance the mental wellbeing of staff. It’s very easy for our brains to focus on the negative things in life. We often dwell on the worries and struggles that present a threat to us. As a consequence, the positives can often go out the window.

To help focus on the good again, gratitude practise is an excellent activity to undertake for World Mental Health Day. Best of all, it’s free and easy!

Encourage your staff to write down (bonus for using pen and paper) a few things that they are grateful for. Also ask them to consider how those things make them feel.

You can enhance this by encouraging them to write about things and people in the workplace that they are grateful for. Even better, encourage them to share that gratitude with the person in question. Not only is it good for the person doing it, but for the recipient too!

It’s worth noting that gratitude practise is most effective as an ongoing endeavor. As such, it may be worth giving your staff a little time each day to complete this activity during the working day.

4. Hold a mental health fundraiser at work

As far as workplace activities go, fundraisers are bread and butter. Bake sales, fun runs, dress-down days… We’ve all experienced one at some point or another.

It may seem obvious, but raising money for a mental health charity can be incredibly rewarding. It also helps to promote positive mental health on a wide scale, too.

There are a lot of charities out there to choose from, but it’s always best to keep it local for some good community spirit. Use Google to search for some local mental health charities near your workplace. You could also ask staff about any charities important to them. You could also use a charity directory if you’re not sure where to start.

5. Ensure management have an open-door policy around mental health

Many of us struggle daily with mental health issues that may well affect our work performance. Not everyone, however, is comfortable discussing issues with a manager. This can be down to any number of reasons, but a lot of the time it’s due to stigma in the workplace.

Engaging with some of the activities listed in this article will help to reduce stigma. That being said, it’s incredibly important that managers, supervisors and team leaders in the workplace have an open-door policy. They need to be available to discuss mental health concerns, and they need to be genuine about it.

Managers should be open to listening to staff without judgement or dismissing concerns. It may sound easy, but non-judgemental listening is actually a skill that many people need to learn. Otherwise, their listening can come off us disingenuous.

Whilst this is less of an event or activity, promote the fact that your managers are there to listen to any mental health concerns that your staff may have.

6. Consider workplace mental health training and support

In addition to all of the above, one of the best ways to show staff that you’re serious about mental health is to provide some outside support. You may already have this in place through an EAP. You could, however, consider offering training to staff and managers around mental health. This gives them the opportunity to support themselves and others.

Here at New Leaf Health, we offer a wide range of services to support all businesses. From manager training to mental health and suicide first aid, and even mindfulness workshops and one-to-one counselling, we can support any aspect of mental health in any UK workplace.

If you’d like to discuss your workplace’s mental health needs, we’re just an email away – please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.