7 Mental Health Awareness Month Activities for Your Organisation
Mental health is a critical aspect of overall well-being, yet it is often neglected or stigmatised in the workplace. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, mental health issues are the leading cause of disability worldwide, and the economic impact of mental illness is estimated to be in the trillions of dollars.
This is why Mental Health Awareness Month is so important. Every May, people around the world come together to raise awareness of mental health issues and promote the importance of mental health and well-being. For organisations, this is an opportunity to show their commitment to employee well-being, break down stigma around mental health issues, and create a supportive workplace culture.
If you’re looking for ideas on how to participate in Mental Health Awareness Month, we’ve got you covered. In this blog, we’ve compiled a list of 7 Mental Health Awareness Month activities for your organisation.
From seminars to art exhibits, mental health walks to mindfulness training, these activities will help you promote employee well-being, raise awareness of mental health issues, and create a supportive and inclusive workplace culture.
So, whether you’re an HR professional, a manager, or an employee looking to make a difference, read on for some great ideas on how to participate in Mental Health Awareness Month and promote mental health and well-being in your organisation.
Host a mental health seminar or workshop
One powerful way to promote mental health awareness and well-being in your organisation during Mental Health Awareness Month is to host a mental health seminar or workshop. This can be a great opportunity to bring in experts to educate your employees on important topics related to mental health and provide them with tools and resources to support their own mental health and that of their colleagues.
- You might consider hosting a seminar on stress management or mindfulness meditation. These types of sessions can provide practical techniques and strategies to help employees manage stress and improve their mental health.
- Another option is to bring in an expert to speak about mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression. This can help to reduce the stigma around mental illness and provide employees with a better understanding of the signs and symptoms of these conditions.
Alternatively, you could host a workshop on building resilience and coping skills. This could include activities such as team-building exercises, goal-setting, and stress-reduction techniques, which can help employees build their resilience and better cope with stressors both in and out of the workplace.
Whatever type of mental health seminar or workshop you choose to host, it is important to make sure that it is accessible to all employees and that you provide a safe and supportive environment for them to learn and engage in discussions.
By promoting mental health awareness and providing employees with the tools and resources to support their well-being, you can help to create a happier and healthier workplace for all.
Organise a mental health walk or run
One unique and engaging way to promote mental health awareness in your organisation during Mental Health Awareness Month is to organise a mental health walk or run. This type of event can bring employees together for a shared activity that promotes physical activity, social connections, and mental health.
Organising a mental health walk or run can be as simple as setting up a designated route around your workplace or local community and inviting employees to participate. You can also consider partnering with a mental health organisation or charity to raise funds and awareness for mental health.
During the walk or run, you can incorporate mental health messages and resources along the route or at designated rest stops. This can include posters, banners, or handouts with information on mental health and well-being, as well as resources for seeking help if needed.
In addition to promoting mental health awareness and physical activity, a mental health walk or run can also help to build a sense of community within your organisation. By participating in a shared activity, employees can connect with each other and feel a sense of camaraderie and support.
Overall, organising a mental health walk or run is a fun and engaging way to promote mental health awareness and well-being in your organisation. It can help to build a sense of community, promote physical activity, and provide employees with resources and information on mental health and well-being.
Offer mental health resources
One of the most effective ways to promote mental health awareness and support well-being in your organisation during Mental Health Awareness Month is to offer mental health resources to your employees. This can include a wide range of resources and services that can help employees manage their mental health and well-being.
- One simple way to offer mental health resources is to provide information and educational materials on mental health and well-being, such as brochures, posters, or handouts. These materials can provide employees with information on the signs and symptoms of mental illness, how to seek help, and tips for maintaining good mental health.
- Another option is to offer an employee assistance program (EAP) that provides confidential counselling and support services to employees who may be experiencing mental health challenges. EAPs can provide employees with access to trained counsellors who can offer support and guidance on a wide range of mental health concerns, including stress, anxiety, and depression.
- You can also consider offering mental health benefits as part of your employee benefits package. This can include coverage for mental health counselling or therapy, as well as coverage for prescription medications for mental health conditions.
Finally, you can provide access to mental health resources and services through your company’s intranet or other internal communication channels. This can include links to mental health resources, support groups, or online counselling services that employees can access at any time.
By offering mental health resources to your employees, you can help to promote mental health awareness and support well-being in your organisation.
Host a mental health art or photo exhibit
Hosting a mental health art or photo exhibit can be a creative and powerful way to promote mental health awareness and reduce stigma in your organisation during Mental Health Awareness Month.
Art has long been recognized as a powerful tool for self-expression and communication, and a mental health art or photo exhibit can help to start conversations about mental health and well-being.
- The exhibit can feature art or photography created by employees, as well as pieces by professional artists that explore mental health themes. The art or photography can be displayed in a central location in your workplace, such as a lobby, break room, or conference room, where employees can easily view and appreciate it.
- You can also consider organising an opening reception or other events around the exhibit, such as a panel discussion or talk by a mental health expert. These events can help to promote dialogue and understanding around mental health issues and provide employees with opportunities to connect with each other and learn more about mental health and well-being.
Hosting a mental health art or photo exhibit can also help to reduce stigma around mental health issues.
By showcasing art that explores mental health themes, you can help to create a safe and supportive environment for employees to discuss their own experiences and seek support if needed.
Organise a mental health book club
Organising a mental health book club can be a fun and engaging way to promote mental health awareness and encourage learning and self-reflection in your organisation during Mental Health Awareness Month.
To get started, you can select a range of books that explore mental health themes, such as anxiety, depression, or trauma.
These books can be fiction or nonfiction, and can be written by mental health professionals or individuals who have lived experience with mental health challenges.
Once you have selected the books, you can invite employees to join the book club and provide them with a schedule for reading and discussion. You can also provide discussion questions to help guide conversations and encourage deeper reflection on mental health themes.
Hosting regular book club meetings can provide employees with an opportunity to connect with each other, discuss mental health topics, and learn from each other’s experiences. It can also help to reduce stigma around mental health challenges by creating a safe and supportive environment for open and honest discussion.
In addition to the book club meetings, you can also consider hosting a mental health speaker or expert to discuss the themes explored in the books, or organising a related event or activity, such as a meditation session or a self-care workshop.
Create a mental health toolkit
Creating a mental health toolkit can be a valuable resource for employees in your organisation to promote mental health awareness and support their mental well-being.
A mental health toolkit can include a range of resources and tools that employees can access as needed to support their mental health.
Here are some potential components that can be included in a mental health toolkit:
- Information on mental health: This can include articles, fact sheets, and resources that provide information on mental health challenges, common symptoms, and available treatments.
- Self-care strategies: This can include resources and tools that promote self-care, such as meditation apps, breathing exercises, and tips for managing stress.
- Mental health screening tools: Screening tools can be used to help employees identify potential mental health challenges they may be experiencing and provide guidance on next steps.
- List of mental health professionals: A list of local mental health professionals can be provided to employees as a resource for accessing mental health services.
- Employee assistance program (EAP) resources: If your organisation has an EAP, information on the available services and how to access them can be included in the toolkit.
- Coping strategies: This can include resources and tools for managing mental health challenges, such as coping skills for anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges.
- Mental health policies and benefits: Information on mental health policies and benefits offered by the organisation can be included to help employees understand what resources and support are available to them.
It can help to reduce stigma around mental health challenges and create a supportive and inclusive environment for all employees.
Offer mental health training for managers
Offering mental health training for managers can be a valuable way to promote mental health awareness and create a supportive environment for employees in your organisation.
Managers play a crucial role in promoting employee well-being, and providing them with the tools and resources to support mental health can have a positive impact on the overall workplace culture.
Here are some potential components that can be included in mental health training for managers:
- Understanding mental health: This can include an overview of common mental health challenges, symptoms, and available treatments.
- Communication skills: Managers can learn how to communicate effectively with employees about mental health concerns, and how to support employees in seeking help.
- Creating a supportive workplace: Strategies for creating a supportive and inclusive workplace culture can be discussed, including how to reduce stigma around mental health challenges and promote open and honest communication.
- Supporting employee mental health: Managers can learn how to support employees who may be experiencing mental health challenges, including how to offer accommodations and provide resources for accessing mental health services.
- Self-care: Managers can learn strategies for managing their own stress and promoting their own mental well-being, as this can have a positive impact on the overall workplace culture.
Managers can become better equipped to support their employees’ mental well-being and create a more positive and productive workplace environment.
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