Leeds Mindful Employer Network speaks to Jenny Murphy from the St John’s Centre, one of our newest members of the Leeds Mindful Employer Network.
Firstly, could you tell us a bit about you and the St John’s Centre?
I am the Office Manager here at St John’s. One aspect of my role is coordinating our charity and community partnerships, one of which, is with Leeds Mind. It was through them that we discovered Mindful Employer and began this journey to develop a deeper understanding of mental wellbeing and to cultivate a bank of tools and resources to support our colleagues.
Our team comprises of 25-30 members of staff in a variety of roles, from cleaning and security to administrative and managerial. We’re an incredibly supportive team and aim to continuously improve our practices.
Why is staff mental health important at the St John’s Centre?
We want our staff to know that they are valued here. We recognise that life can be heavy at times and knowing that they are supported by us can sometimes lessen the burden.
We have a one team view and promoting positive mental wellbeing is incredibly important in maintaining a happy and successful workforce.
Tell us about your role in supporting staff wellbeing.
I am the Mental Health First Aider at St Johns. I have taken on the important responsibility of being an advocate for positive mental health. I actively encourage workplace conversations on the topic to reduce stigma and inspire mindful practice.
What are you most proud of in the St John’s Centre’s approach to staff wellbeing?
One of our security team leaders, Si, regularly runs sessions with his team on a one to one basis to provide an opportunity to talk through things they may be experiencing. Security is a male dominated industry and, as statistics show, men generally find it more difficult to talk about their mental health.
Having Si promote the importance of having these conversations and creating a safe space to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly, in and out of work, demonstrates the significance of having a trusting, and trustworthy, team. This approach has allowed us to break down barriers of communication and challenge the stigma surrounding men’s mental health.
What are your priorities for the months ahead?
Throughout the Summer, we will be focusing on promoting the benefits of exercise in relation to positive mental wellbeing. With the support of the Leeds Active Workplaces Network, we will be encouraging the team to take more time outdoors, engage in physical activity and be mindful of their physical health and how this can positively impact their mental health.
What does it mean for the St John’s Centre to be a Mindful Employer?
For us, being a Mindful Employer represents a commitment to support the team through hardships whilst also promoting methods they can utilise to manage their wellbeing, as well as our own. We want our stakeholders to see that we are actively engaging with initiatives that improve conditions within the workplace.
What would you say to someone who is considering becoming part of the Leeds Mindful Employer Network?
Being a part of the Leeds Mindful Employer Network has opened us up to opportunities we wouldn’t have found otherwise. We have become part of a community which is focused and dedicated on supporting the people they work with. This network has allowed us to find likeminded organisations with which we can share our experiences and learn from others’ best practices.
Learn more about the Leeds Mindful Employer Network.