This year, the World Mental Health Day’s campaign is to increase investment in mental health.
All of us have faced significant challenges this year with our lives changing considerably in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past months, healthcare workers have faced difficult circumstances when providing care. Many have been troubled with the thought of going to work to support patients, but risking those at home by continuing with their work. Those outside of the healthcare sector have been greatly impacted by this also, with livelihoods threatened, schools closed and little or reduced contact with friends and loved ones.
Because of the challenges this year has brought, it is understandable that the need for mental health support will have increased and will need to continue to do so in the coming months and years.
One Ashford Hospital is committed to reducing stigma around mental ill health and supporting employees to feel safe and confident to share concerns or ask for support.
Last year, six members of One Ashford staff were trained to become Mental Health First Aiders. These individuals are able to provide a safe space for colleagues to discuss their mental health and can suggest coping mechanisms or signpost to additional support as required.
Additionally, One Ashford have opened up the conversation on mental health for staff, allowing them a platform to voice their views on the current culture at the organisation and opportunities for improvement. We are encouraging an open conversation between colleagues where members of staff can share their own experiences of mental ill health. There are many more initiatives in the pipeline and staff are encouraged to speak up with any ideas.
One Ashford is committed to supporting staff and increasing the number of wellbeing initiatives. Within the last year we have run yoga sessions, fitness workshops and social events, latterly via Zoom!
We are continuing to work with staff to improve the amount and quality of mental health support available to them and have committed our company to the Mental Health at Work Commitment. This is a programme of six standards, bringing together best practice from the UK’s top employers and experts. More information can be found here