Today is Time to Talk Day, a national campaign that encourages everyone to have a conversation about mental health. Breaking down the stigma around mental health is a core part of our Inclusion agenda and the Bank has embraced this initiative.
Around the Bank today, colleagues are taking part in activities designed to help individuals colleagues open up and have a conversation about mental health. These sessions are facilitated by both our Wellbeing Champions and Mental Health Network, two of our staff networks that are designed to help colleagues balance their work and personal lives. To support colleagues in getting the conversation started, coffee hours and conversation spaces are taking place with speakers from our Mental Health Network Steering Committee who are sharing their own experiences with mental health conditions.
We recognise that the conversations about our mental health can be daunting, and there is no expectation that colleagues engage in difficult discussions. But, we want all colleagues to know that they are supported at work and by making a small gesture, like asking how someone is, or inviting them for a cup of tea, each of us can have a huge impact. Checking in on one another is important and will help understand how those around you are feeling.
Wellbeing Champions have shared valuable resources from Time to Change, the organisation behind Time to Talk Day, which are free to download and include workplace conversation packs. These packs can be used by anyone to prompt an all-important conversation, not just on Time to Talk Day but also in the future.
It’s also Children’s Mental Health Week. Our Parents Network, Mental Health Network and Wellbeing Champions jointly hosted an engaging and informative lunchtime session by an experienced therapist on building resilience in teenagers. The event built on a similar session from last year on building resilience in younger children. A representative from one of our charities of the year, YoungMinds, was also at the event to highlight their Parents Helpline and social media campaign #ownyourfeed.
We recognise that physical and mental health are intrinsically linked. This week also marked World Cancer Day and for this reason a member of the disAbility network shared their experiences of a cancer diagnosis. By talking openly about a diagnosis, and support received from family, friends and within the workplace, removes the stigma and helps others who may be experiencing a similar situation. In the past year a cancer support group has been set up to build a network of people across the organisation who can support each other and signpost to information and services that may help in each of their situations.
For more information on Time to Talk Day visit the Time to Change website and download the resources.