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Last week (14-20 May 2018) was Mental Health Awareness week. This is a campaign from the Mental Health Foundation which seeks to raise awareness and open dialogue about mental health, encouraging people to talk about and take steps to improve their own mental health and that of others.

Research shows that two in three people will experience some kind of mental health issue in their lives. Many of these issues are caused or aggravated by stress. For this reason, stress was the focus topic for this year’s Mental Health Awareness week.

As work can be a big source of stress, workplace wellbeing is really important in any business. The HR team at our parent company Cultura organised a whole set of events and initiatives in support of Mental Health Awareness week, under the umbrella of “Healthy Minds at Cultura”. Here’s what we got up to…

A Focus on Diet and Exercise

Physical and mental health are inextricably linked and affect one another, and looking after yourself by eating well and exercising regularly can boost your mood and your mental health. In acknowledgement of this, free fresh fruit was available in the office, and will now be ordered in every two weeks. The HR team also sent out a Food and Exercise fact sheet with valuable and interesting information on how food and exercise can help your mental health. This also included some handy tips on when and how to become more active and do more exercise!

Therapy Dogs

Dog Visit

A definite highlight of Mental Health Awareness Week here at Primetics was getting to meet the therapy dogs who came to visit. Spending time with animals is proven to reduce stress and boost your mood—Ruby and Mollie from Therapy Dogs Nationwide certainly spread some joy and happiness at our Chorley office! We also had a collection for the charity, which takes their therapy dogs into schools, hospitals and care homes.

The Cultura Bake Off

We also had a fantastic Bake Off, organised by Cultura. Everyone was invited to bake a cake or some other sweet treat (or buy, if they didn’t fancy baking!) to be enjoyed in the meeting room with a cuppa. Donations were invited, to raise money for the Mental Health Foundation.

As well as organising Mental Health Awareness Week, the Mental Health Foundation also carries out lots of valuable work and schemes that improve people’s lives. This includes creating and distributing materials to inform and raise awareness about mental health, courses for those who are struggling, such as the “Creating Connections” course for young families, and setting up and running groups for vulnerable older people. We are delighted to have contributed to this fantastic cause.

All in all, Healthy Minds at Cultura for Mental Health Awareness week was a great success. It raised awareness about mental health, taught employees more about wellbeing, and raised money for some great charities. We hope that everyone took the advice and information on board and that we can all continue supporting each other to reduce stress and promote workplace wellbeing.