Why kindness matters this Mental Health Awareness Week

As this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week begins with a theme of ‘kindness’, Megan Sutcliffe, People Shared Services Advisor and one of the Mental Health First Aiders at Servelec, explains how it can make all the difference to our wellbeing.

Servelec has really invested in supporting its people with their mental health over the last year and I’m extremely proud to be one of a team of 12 fully trained Mental Health First Aiders here. We’re a diverse group with different skillsets and personalities who have all taken a course accredited by Mental Health First Aid England. We’re passionate about being there to offer support to any colleague who needs it – even if it’s just a virtual cup of tea and a chat.

Today marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week. The Covid-19 pandemic means our mental health and wellbeing is really being tested - but this week is a timely reminder that good mental health and wellbeing always deserves our attention. It is great to see that this year’s theme is kindness; something which really resonates with me personally. Here are a few thoughts on the theme and some of the simple things we can all do to look out for each other, in the current circumstances and beyond.

 

It’s cool to be kind

When thinking about kindness, it’s important to recognise that it has to start from within. If you can’t be kind to yourself, it’s difficult to share kindness with others. It’s easier said than done sometimes, but recognising it can go a long way to helping! As Mental Health First Aiders, we try to shine positivity and be a friendly approachable face so that we can hopefully make a difference in someone’s day.

It's no secret that being active can give your mental health a boost too. Some people find it tricky to get motivated during lockdown, but taking that time out of the day for a lunch time walk is a way of being kind to yourself and can help raise your spirits – after all, your mental health and physical health go hand in hand.

 

Keep the conversation going

While we’ve long had the flexibility to work from home at Servelec, it was always of our choosing. It’s important to recognise that the sudden shift to full-time remote working for the vast majority of us in recent weeks is not to everyone’s liking – especially with added worries and pressures at home. It’s naturally been a big adjustment for most.

Making time to chat with your colleagues to help split up the working day and keep that conversation going is key when some are feeling lonely and isolated. At Servelec, we’ve been getting creative by organising virtual coffee mornings and sharing lunch breaks. Video conferencing tools like Microsoft Teams are great and provide an easy-to-use platform for instant communication.

 

Here to help

As Mental Health First Aiders, our role is to be there for our people – they can approach us however they like with any concern. There’s no pressure; we’re always here with a friendly listening ear to provide informal help and guide people to the right support if necessary. With a lot of uncertainty in the world currently, it’s fair to say we could all use a little more kindness in our lives, so we look forward to spreading more of it this Mental Health Awareness Week.

Megan Sutcliffe, Mental Health First Aider at Servelec