IE Comment: As governments in Westminster, Cardiff and Edinburgh continue to gleefully dismantle large sections of the UK economy, mental health is more important than ever, especially for those who have lost their jobs, their business and sometimes, a family member or partner. The NHS will be very little help in the winter ahead, as it continues to shield itself from patients – except Covid-19 patients – and fob off the vast majority of people with a range of medical conditions, or worrying symptoms that need attention.
There is a better way. Instead of finger pointing over masks, or snitching on your neighbours for buying a pint after 6pm, people could show some compassion and understanding to those who are suffering depression and other mental health problems. For those still in work, or desperately trying to salvage their business, counselling and support is essential. Make time to clear your mind, look at things in perspective and make lists of good things in your life that YOU can control, or exert influence upon. There is always a way ahead, a Plan B, no matter what spiteful politicians say. Never stop taking small steps towards your dream.
Headspace, a global leader in mindfulness and meditation, announced a call to action, rallying people and organizations all over the world to “Be Kind to Your Mind” in honour of World Mental Health Day on October 10.
Box, Farmers Insurance, Hyatt, Snap, Spectrum Health, and National Military Family Association are among the first companies and nonprofits to join forces with Headspace in an effort to celebrate, renew, and expand their commitment to caring for the mental health of their employees and their families. Headspace is inviting leaders and companies to sign the pledge and learn more about how to ease the mental health burdens of employees at headspace.com/wmhd. Participating organisations are standing together and committing to the shared responsibility in this moment to demand a greater investment in mental health for all.
Headspace is tracking employee sentiment around a variety of factors affecting peoples’ mental health, surveying thousands of employees in May and again in September. The data show some trends heading in the wrong direction, namely:
- 48% of respondents surveyed in May 2020 said their organisation provided increased access to tools and services to support employee mental health as a result of COVID-19. That slipped to only 34% in September.
- 56% of respondents surveyed in May 2020 felt that mental health and emotional well-being were priorities in their organisation. That fell to 44% in September.
While research showed some great initial responses by leaders and companies, many more employees feel less supported now than earlier in the crisis.
So far, 600 organisations have signed the pledge, joining together to commit to their teams’ mental health and encouraging other companies to follow suit.
“Wellbeing is at the core of our purpose – to care for people so they can be their best – and a true point of difference for Hyatt,” said Malaika Myers, Hyatt Chief Human Resources Officer. “When Hyatt first teamed up with Headspace in January, we knew how important it was to make mindfulness and meditation content accessible to help employees, guests, and customers prioritise their wellbeing. With 2020 proving to be an exceptional year with unexpected challenges, now, more than ever, prioritising our wellbeing is paramount. We can only care for others if we take care of our own mental, emotional and physical wellbeing first.”
The Headspace “Be Kind to Your Mind” pledge encourages the prioritisation of mental health care beyond just World Mental Health Day. To support leaders and companies, Headspace is sharing a toolkit with educational resources and tactics to keep the spotlight on mindfulness for the next year. In the coming months, Headspace will provide additional guidance on how to continuously invest in employees’ mental health with companies who sign the pledge and with Headspace for Work customers.
In an effort to lead by example as the world grapples with simultaneous crises, Headspace has rolled out an every-other-Friday companywide mental health day (called MINDays) to support Headspace employees in taking time for themselves, knowing that it’s more difficult than ever to balance work and life. Fridays in between MINDays are mandated ‘no meeting days,’ so the team can have time to focus. Each day, all employees have two mindful breaks scheduled on their calendars at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. so they can participate in a team-wide group meditation, take a walk, have a rest or take time for themselves.
Find more information at headspace.com/wmhd.