With World Mental Health Day coming up on Saturday 10 October, after over six months of the pandemic and as we go into winter with no clear end in sight, Marie Watkins reflects on what we have done to protect and support the mental health of our staff. As a health management company, we provide expert support on a wide range of mental health projects, but promoting mental health needs to start ‘at home’.
Health anxieties, isolation and separation from family and friends, not to mention increases in caring responsibilities and, for too many people, bereavement on top of the normal pressures of work and maintaining a positive work-life balance are all significant factors in mental ill-health. As a values-driven company, Attain has always had a strong focus on staff wellbeing and we are pleased to say that even before any of us had heard of Covid-19, we had turned the spotlight on mental wellbeing and were improving our internal support for this. As well as reviewing and amending our Wellbeing policy, we have invested in providing access to professional support through our insurer and procuring professionally researched materials and other online support. Staff from our Values, People and Mental Health teams have put together resource packs on a range of themes, from financial and caring issues to support around illness and loss; and we have drawn on our internal clinical expertise to offer our staff guidance on managing anxiety and supporting children through the pandemic.
At Attain we are always looking to improve how we care for our staff, as well as how we deliver to our clients. Our next initiative will be a series of virtual sessions to equip staff with tools and techniques to better manage stress, practice mindfulness and tackle sleep problems. We are also investing in developing Mental Health First Aiders within the organisation with the aim of rolling out key skills to all staff. At the same time, we are challenging ourselves to ensure that everything we do including our mental wellbeing work involves explicit consideration of equality and diversity.
Within Attain, as with the health and care services we work with, our staff are our service and looking after them is fundamental to who we are as a company. Our aim is to continue to lead by example when it comes to supporting mental health.
If you’d like to find out more about Attain’s mental health experience please contact our mental health lead Marie.Watkins@attain.co.uk. If you would like to find out more about Attain and our people please go to our website www.attain.co.uk/people.