MHA 2023 blog

Mental Health Day – A Human Right

There’s a reason why people feel connected to colleagues. In our working life, people in the UK will roughly spend 35 hours a week at their jobs. That’s about 1,795 hours a year – a total of 84365 hours in a lifetime. That rounds to about 3,515 days.

Work, regardless of whether it is in an office, travelling or at home, has a plethora of workers' rights – and with the theme of World Mental Health Day being “Mental Health is a Universal Human Right”, it's important for there to be an open dialogue on what that means in relation to our own mental health.

At NorDan, our core values are at the heart of everything we do. All of them are the guiding principles on which we base our decisions to ensure we protect the people at NorDan. But today, it is important to focus on one of our core values. People.

In two days, we will be having our first-ever Safety-First Day. Each UK office will dedicate their time to learning more about the process and resources available to them, as well as having a deeper understanding of our proactive health and safety culture. Although everyone at NorDan is proud of our ever-growing H&S accreditations, we understand that more must be done for people's mental health.

Within the year, the UK has discovered some alarming statistics. According to The Guardian, as of March 2023, there were 21,555 urgent referrals to mental health crisis teams - up 46% from 2022. And around 1 in 6 adults are suffering from depression.

With the UK on the verge of a mental health crisis, NorDan has begged the question of what we can do. What is it that people need to feel seen?

Investing in a better understanding of what mental health is has been one way in which we have been able to take strides into supporting the people at NorDan. Placing dedicated Mental Health First Aiders across our offices has not only allowed us to provide quality support but by doing such courses like the St Andrew’s First Aid Mental Health, it has helped us recognise symptoms of stress, as well as signs of developing mental health conditions.

One discovery was that feeling connected to your peers helps people who may have started to become isolated. Although it may sound simple, having social events has helped teams around the country feel a sense of community. Just recently, we had a coffee morning in which staff members did their best impression of The Great British Bake Off to raise money to raise money for the MacMillan Cancer Charity.

We’ve also invested in our own internal fitness application known as myPuls. Not only does it encourage us to take breaks from the screen and be more active by tracking steps and activity, but it is linked to all the NorDan Group. Each season we have a new incentive, whether that is to be the most active member of the NorDan office or to have the most steps.

There have been a lot of conversations about mental health over the years – but very few have been as important as stating that it is a human right. Many places of work have taken gigantic leaps into being proactive in their support for people suffering from mental health that have massively benefited people's lives. Through having open discussions and listening to the needs of the people at NorDan, we will always aim to do the best for our team.

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