Skip to main content

Time to Talk Day is a great opportunity for employers to consider and promote the importance of normalising conversations about mental health in the workplace.

In the run-up to Time to Talk Day on the 1st February, Leeds Mindful Employer Network Project Coordinator, Leigh Staunton, has been catching up with some members of the Leeds Mindful Employer Network to find out what they’ve got planned and why this campaign is important for them.

The Leeds Mindful Employer Network is all about bringing local employers together to share ideas and best practice, so check out the conversations below. Don’t forget to get in touch with us at mindfulemployer@leedsmind.org.uk to update us on what your business will be doing on Time to Talk Day.

Jane Dennis, Wellbeing Manager at The Oakland Group

What activities have you got planned for Time to Talk Day 2024?

– Talks and posts from people with lived experience.
– Knowledge sharing and details of best practice. People will be asked to share their experiences (with an option to remain anonymous) and highlight what they have found helps support their wellbeing.
– Sharing resources and providing people with details of how to access wellbeing support, either through our Employee Assiatnce Programme (EAP) scheme or via external providers.

 

Why is Time to Talk Day important for the Oakland Group?

At Oakland we want to raise awareness and break down any stigma surrounding mental health. We want our team to know it’s ‘ok not to be ok’ and it’s crucial they are aware they can ask for help, without fear of judgement and understand they will be treated with empathy and respect when they do.

 

What is your top tip for supporting employees to talk more openly about mental health and wellbeing in the workplace?

My top tip would be to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe, valued and included. Workplace wellbeing should be embedded deep within in the culture of the company and visible across every level of the organisation. It should not be seen as a ‘tick box’ exercise and any wellbeing policies or initiatives should be continuously reviewed and rolled out.

Kristy Dean, Head of People & Culture at Perform Partners

What activities have you got planned for Time to Talk Day 2024?

Every 2 weeks we host a Team Learning Time for 1 hour on a Monday afternoon and on 29th January we plan to use Time to Talk Day as our learning subject. We’ll use the 5 tips on the Time to Talk website as a basis for the session. Our aim is to provide our team with an opportunity to become more comfortable and confident in well-being related conversations. We also plan to signpost the Conversations in the Community course available on https://www.conversationsinthecommunity.org.uk/ for anyone who wishes to do some individual learning.

 

Why is Time to Talk Day important for Perform Partners?

Time to Talk Day provides us with an extra nudge towards opening up and being vulnerable, which I’m sure we can all appreciate can be scary in the workplace due to fear of judgement or change in how the person you’ve spoken with interacts with you. Our culture is built on the fundamental principle that we are all wonderfully unique human beings and through talking about our individual experiences, we have the opportunity to discover more about each other and how we can be supported.

 

What is your top tip for supporting employees to talk more openly about mental health and wellbeing in the workplace?

Nurturing a culture that supports people to feel that they can be themselves no matter what they are experiencing on any particular day, all year round; not limited to an awareness day such a Time to Talk Day. A practical tip would be when engaging someone in a conversation about mental health and wellbeing, be prepared to listen more than talk. More often than not, people are looking for someone to listen, not solve problems, find solutions or have experience compared to. This conversation is their space, give them that safe place to open up.

Jayne Uren, Human Resources Manager, Leeds Marriott 

What activities have you got planned for Time to Talk Day 2024?

Coffee, catch up and cake, print some leaflets to distribute and promote the Bee informed corner, where staff can find a variety of information and signposting guidance on mental health and wellbeing.

Why is Time to Talk Day important for the Leeds Marriott? 

Having an opportunity to raise awareness regarding wellbeing and mental health within the workplace if very important to us, one of our core values is “Putting People First”. Our culture is to look after people be hospitable and ensuring associates feel valued, heard and respected in the workplace it vital to the success of our business.

What is your top tip for supporting employees to talk more openly about mental health and wellbeing in the workplace?

Try to normalise it, just have a relaxed environment to have open conversations, have a safe space. You may have a better response to gathering is you don’t ask them to sign up, informal. Share information via closed Facebook groups, noticeboards, having a location in the workplace for leaflets, information is brilliant, they can peruse this whenever they wish. Knowing your teams is key to success, having catch ups, job chats whatever you choose to call them, but getting to know your team if paramount and will enable you to spot the early signs, you can then offer assistance and signpost them to gain support.

Adam Sutcliffe, Royal Mail

 

What activities have you got planned for Time to Talk Day 2024?

A full stop the clock across the UK. All units will talk and shine a light on mental health in the workplace. What we as individuals and as a team are doing to improve our own mental health and wellbeing. We are really embracing and really taking our time to talk.

Why is Time to Talk Day important for Royal Mail? 

Royal Mail is one of the largest employers in the UK. Our people make our business and provide our excellent service to our customers. We want our people to be in the best, happiest and most healthy state that they can be.

What is your top tip for supporting employees to talk more openly about mental health and wellbeing in the workplace?

In Leeds & Wakefield we have done lots of work to put wellbeing ambassadors into every unit. We hold meetings together, with external supports and charities, who help us understand a range of issues that could be detrimental to peoples health and wellbeing. The ambassadors use these contacts and specialities, to signpost and support our teams in a positive way. We are normalising wellbeing conversations across the patch.

Jenny Murphy, Office Manager, St John’s Centre

What activities have you got planned for Time to Talk Day 2024?

On Time to Talk Day we will be providing tea, coffee and biscuits in all staff areas and encouraging people to take time to chat with their colleagues. There will be ‘conversation cards’ with prompts for conversation and literature on managing mental health available too.

We will also be carrying out ‘Walking Wellbeing Check-ins’, where we will join employees while they carry out their duties to check in with how they are. We’ve found that allowing people to speak in a casual conversation can help them feel more comfortable in opening up around difficult topics including mental health.

Why is Time to Talk Day important for The St John’s Centre? 

While we advocate for positive mental wellbeing all year round, Time to Talk Day allows us to open up a conversation about the importance of talking to other people. Mental health struggles can be incredibly isolating and actively talking about them can help to relieve the pressure and remind people they are not alone. Time to Talk Day allows us to encourage having difficult conversations, as well as signposting employees to talking therapies and other similar services.

What is your top tip for supporting employees to talk more openly about mental health and wellbeing in the workplace?

Showing genuine compassion goes a long way. We want our employees to know that we care about their mental health and we do that by listening, showing empathy and offering support.

Claire Burns, People Director at Abraham Moon & Sons

What activities have you got planned for Time to Talk Day 2024?

We are holding 2 sessions to ensure we grab all shifts on Thursday – see attached promotional leaflet for employees.

We are doing tea and cake tasting.  We are providing a selection of teas and discussing the benefits of each, also see attached. We are also doing cake tasting, just for happy endorphins 😊 with some interactive games.

We are also doing mind apples, this is based on 5 a day for your body, what 5 things can you do for your mind. To start discussions and get people thinking of small things they can do for a healthy mind.

Another purpose of this is so employees can meet the Mental Health First Aiders in a relaxed atmosphere.

 

Why is Time to Talk Day important for Abraham Moon and Sons?  

Provides an opportunity for open and informal conversations about mental health with our colleagues.  We feel its important to create a supportive environment where employees can share their experiences, ask for help if they need it and reduce the stigma.  We can also promote our MHFA and employee wellbeing in general, foster a positive work culture and ensure that everyone feels valued and supported. I think time to talk day is a great initiative to prioritise mental health and create a more inclusive and understanding workplace.

 

What is your top tip for supporting employees to talk more openly about mental health and wellbeing in the workplace?  

Create a safe and non-judgemental environment and encourage open conversations by creating a culture of empathy and understanding. Lived experiences can really help with this, which we encourage at Time to Talk day.  Providing resources and training to raise awareness about mental health and educating employees on how to support each other is key.  Regular check ins show mental health is a priority, it’s the small gestures that sometimes make the biggest difference

A big thank you to everyone who contributed to this blog. 

Want to get involved?

Join the Leeds Mindful Employer Network here.

Don’t miss out on our next free in-person event on the 19th March hosted by our Mindful Employer of the Quarter, AW Hainsworth, “Overcoming Stigma: Mental Health Awareness and Support at AW Hainsworth”. You can book your place here.

Did you know tickets are now available to book for our FREE Leeds Mindful Employer Network Conference 2024, “Creating Mentally Healthy Workplaces” at Leeds Beckett University, Carnegie School of Sports. Demonstrate your commitment to the positive mental health of your workforce by registering your free place here.

Leave a Reply