Mental Health Awareness Week
This month we participated in Mental Health Awareness Week, our structure following the five ways to wellbeing: Connect, Be Mindful, Keep Learning, Give to Others and Be Active.
Here in London we hosted a variety of events; opening with Tea & Talk on the Monday, plus a very impressive Bake Off! Our four prestigious judges crowed Tree Thompson’s Perfect Pavlova the winner.
That afternoon we hosted a talk with Andy Dunn from Thinkwell, an organisation dedicated to starting the conversation of mental health in the workplace. Using clips from Johnny Benjamin’s Channel 4 documentary, ‘Stranger on the Bridge,’ the talk considered how we can look out for and support one another, particularly in the work place, and how to engage with the topic of mental health effectively.
On Tuesday, we welcomed Luke Doherty from Mindful Peak Performance, who led us in a mindfulness session, where we were given tips on how to effectively process and manage our thoughts, along with practising meditation. Luke taught us stress-relieving, rejuvenating techniques for calmness, clarity and wellbeing.
We continued on our mindful path that afternoon as we enjoyed a watercolour class with an artist from Pitcher & Paint. As painting and colouring have been shown to encourage focus and a sense of calm, we all found this to be a very positive mindful session as well as a chance to show off our sweet painting skills. Celebrating the year’s Mental Health Awareness Week theme of Body Image – Pitcher & Paint held a painting masterclass where we were taught how to paint the human image in watercolour. This gave us the chance to take time out of our day and just switch off and relax.
Dr Beverly Flint from C&I Wellbeing led a talk on Stress & Anxiety on Wednesday morning, outlining anxiety and everyday stresses that can lead to panic attacks, the ways in which it can affect us physically, plus strategies to break the cycle and manage it in a more helpful way.
On Thursday, we recognised the importance of giving to others. We had an amazing pop-up flower stall, run by Lucy Lister. We sold out in just a few hours, with many of our staff buying her beautiful plants and flowers to give to their team members and family!
We saved the best for last on Friday! In the morning, we welcomed an expert from Stretching City to teach us all about Ergolates. This is a ‘one of a kind’ workshop developed by a team of Physios and a Pilates teacher, and is currently only delivered by two people in the UK. Ergolates combines Pilates, physiotherapy and relaxation techniques teamed with useful ergonomic advice to help improve your posture at work and throughout daily life. I think everyone came away from this one feeling very relaxed.
To round up Mental Health Awareness week, we invited everyone to bring in their dogs on Friday. With the mental health benefits of pets at work widely reported, we wanted to recognise this by organising our very first Mediabrands dog walk. We took our furry friends out on the streets of London that lunchtime, leading to one of our most hectic but enjoyable ends to a week.
Throughout the week, we had a pledge wall set up in the café. The purpose of the Pledge Wall being to share ideas, promote happiness, strengthen and broadness awareness, facilitate conversations and set personal goals. It was brilliant to see how many people added a pledge as the week went on, and another great way for us to share and inspire each other when it comes to mental health.
By the end of the week we had raised a whopping £615 to be donated to The Mental Health Foundation!