World Mental Health Day reminds us to support our workforce everyday

Today is World Mental Health Day, which provides a great reminder of the importance of supporting your workforce both today and everyday when it comes to the topic of mental health and wellbeing.

We take a look at the big and small ways organisations can support their colleagues to create a work environment where they feel comfortable talking about mental health.

Join an industry charity support network

There are so many charities out there that are happy to help people, and organisations like Mind, even have free resources designed to help businesses take care of their staff – such as their guides and action plans.

It’s also worth doing further research for your industry sector, to see what tailored resources are available from charities that are well experienced with the challenges your colleagues may be facing.

At NRL, we’re company supporters of the Lighthouse Club – a construction industry charity who help people working in the industry and their families. Their support includes on-site visits, by an experienced team who have worked in the industry and faced their own mental health challenges, providing engaging sessions that resonate with workers and help them to see that talking about your mental health is completely normal.

For people in crisis, the Lighthouse Club can provide a range of emotional, physical and financial wellbeing support. Including organising an emergency food shop in a nearby supermarket, and immediate financial aid to pay utility bills. As well as long-term support to help manage with debt, health conditions and the various challenges life throws at people.

You can find out more about the services the Lighthouse Club can provide and consider signing up your organisation as a company supporter, by visiting their website.


Train volunteers as Mental Health First Aiders

In recent years Mental Health First Aiders are becoming more prominent in the workplace, and it’s a great way to let your employees know that they’re welcome to discuss any challenges they’re facing inside the workplace.

It’s extremely common to let your line manager know if you’re suffering from physical conditions that may impact you, such as a bad back. So people should feel just as comfortable discussing mental health in the workplace.

To support this, full training by providers such as Mental Health First Aid England, who NRL have been working with this year to help train colleagues across our offices.

“I decided to become a Mental Health First Aider because I wanted to make sure that if I was in a position where one of my colleagues needed my support with their mental health, I would be able to handle the matter sensitively and professionally, while making a difference and letting them know that they aren’t alone. I think it’s important to learn the signs that someone may need help when they are unable to directly ask for it and how to act in these scenarios.”

Kat Wilson, Recruitment Consultant in NRL’s Heysham branch.

Build wellbeing into your benefits package

If you haven’t already included wellbeing and health services in your employee support programme, then it’s worth considering what help they could really benefit from.

This might include reactive support such as free counselling services, as well as tools to help them stay on top of their mental health. Including practical support such as the partnership we embarked on this year with Bippit, a benefit we provide to our colleagues that gives them access to free financial wellbeing support. Helping them to manage their finances and even tackle concerns such as loans and credit cards – all of which have a huge impact on mental health.

Their research highlighted that 74% of people admit that financial worries affect them at work and 55% of employees surveyed said they only sometimes feel in control of their finances.

Encourage colleagues to get involved

There a lots of ways you can plan mental health and wellbeing topics into your internal engagement activity, including using resources already readily available. Such as the One Million Lives campaign, which aims to create the world’s biggest mental health check-in in 2023. Over 400,000 people have already taken the time to take the short check-in online, which is hoping to encourage one million people to start thinking about their mental health.

You might also want to consider more specific activities for your company, here at NRL for example we’re planning to bring wellbeing into focus each month during 2024 – through our annual desk calendar. Colleagues from across NRL’s branches and businesses were invited to submit photos of places they’ve visited that help them relax and unwind. Together with any personal wellbeing and mindfulness tips which will be included on the calendar. Each competing to take the coveted front cover position, which this year saw Heysham Team Leader Nick Mitchell become the cover star, with a calming shot taken at Grib Coch in Wales.

The 2024 NRL desk calendar

With relaxation and taking time out to reset in mind, we’re delighted to share the final 12 photos that have made it into our 2024 calendar, which we hope you enjoy browsing through.

Marsden Moor, England – Photo by Natalie Baines, Linx
Grib Coch, Wales – Photo by Nick Mitchell, Heysham
Windermere, England – Photo by Kristian Taylor, Blyth
Mayan Cenote, Mexico – Photo by Laurita Galajeva, Glasshouse
Mount Vesuvius, Italy – Photo by Lisa Jackson, Sunderland
Asturias, Spain – Photo by Charlotte Davidson, Languages
Kusadasi, Turkey – Photo by Lianne Kinrade, Egremont
Strathy Beach, Scotland – Photo by Jay Smallwood, Wigan
Plockton, Scotland – Photo by Shaun Lamb, Falkirk
Snowdon, Wales – Photo by Jade Sackett-Jones, Woking
Loch of the Lowes, Scotland – Photo by Jim O’Hagan, NDT
Wigan, England – Photo by Tim Millbank, Wigan
The NRL Group