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This week we’ve been sharing posts over on Instagram, to show how our team have been supporting their Mental Health Awareness Week. As a team, we felt it was important for us to share our approach to mental health support in the business, and the culture that we have built, around creating a safe, supportive and productive environment for our team, even during unprecedented times.

Mental health support is not just a policy

Before writing this post, I went to the management team to see what they thought should be included. The overwhelming consensus was that what we do to support mental health isn’t something that can be sold as a gimmick, or another ‘benefit’ added to a careers page. It’s ultimately about the positive environment we create as a company culture.

Although we’re a small team of only 17 people, we’re a team founded on the principle that we want to work with one another, and do great work. We have a very open and honest culture, where we have tried to remove policies which limit communication, and instead, have tried to focus on creating open comms across the business.

Open communication

Mutual support is a fundamental element to our approach to mental health as a business. Our culture of supporting one another isn’t something that’s rooted in reviews and HR procedures instead, it’s about the way that we work with one another as people.

We check in with one another, and start each day off with a team call, geared around planning for the day ahead, updating one another on our lockdown activities, and sharing our latest finds on Netflix (most recently The Last Dance has been a prevalent discussion point). These calls are unstructured but are designed to take the place of the kitchen catchups we’d have if we were all in the office. Whether we’re working remotely or in the same room, it’s important to make sure we all have the time to check in with one another in an informal environment.

Celebrate each other’s strengths…

And support each other’s weaknesses – by which I mean, where one of us falls down, the other is there to pick them back up. Our success as a team hinges upon gathering a group of people with different skillsets and empowering them to deliver great things together.

We take the time to stop and congratulate our colleagues when things go well, regardless of the size or scale of ‘the win’, from work-related milestones, to things that happen away from the office. We’ve recently been challenging one another to get fitter through running during the lockdown. It’s not a competition about who ran the furthest or fastest, but about celebrating the effort it takes to get out and go for a run at all.

Although exercise is only one factor that helps with mental health, I think that spirit of encouragement we’ve applied to our running efforts is replicated across the business in all that we do, and ultimately, adds to the creation of a supporting and open environment.

All in all, our hope is that we’ve created an environment where mental health is respected and supported. To find out more on how our team have been taking the time to protect their mental health during lockdown, head over to our Instagram for our photo updates.

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