In today’s society, the power of conversation often goes underestimated. Yet, it holds the potential to transform and even save lives, especially when it comes to mental health. Today marks ‘Time to Talk Day’, a vital initiative focused on encouraging open conversations about mental health with the aim of helping to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues and promote understanding and empathy.

With you all the way

At Helvar, our employee promise is ‘with you all the way,’ and a significant aspect of this commitment is placing well-being and mental health at the forefront, with a dedicated focus for 2024 and beyond. We are aware that our employees spend a significant portion of their lives at work, so we believe it’s imperative that the working environment prioritises their wellbeing. For example, at the end of 2023, we provided employees with a paid well-being day encouraging them to recharge, and we have recently launched ‘Empower Hour’, which encourages employees to dedicate an hour out of their working week to their personal development, health, or making an impact in their community. While Helvar works hard to maintain a psychologically safe working environment and embraces a culture that encourages employees to bring their authentic selves to work, unfortunately stigma surrounding the topic of mental health still exists in society.

Leaders Go First

We recognise the crucial role workplaces play in shaping the narrative around mental health. Research indicates that 88% of employees value it when their company’s leaders openly discuss mental health. Employees often turn to their leaders to gauge the workplace culture, including defining success, understanding work norms and boundaries, and determining if mental health is an acceptable topic of conversation. This year, to mark ‘Time to Talk Day,’ we are proud to be participating in Mind Share Partners ‘Leaders Go First’ campaign. Several of our Helvar leaders will courageously share their personal experiences with mental health, whether directly or indirectly, with the entire organisation. By encouraging our Helvar leaders to openly discuss their experiences, we aim to set a positive example, emphasising that vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness. We want to highlight that success is achievable even while experiencing mental health issues, and, importantly, to convey that it’s okay to discuss mental health and ask for support whenever it’s needed.
This initiative is just the start- we won’t be stopping here; we will be highlighting mental health related awareness days throughout 2024 as we believe the only way to continue to battle against the stigma related to mental health is by ensuring the topic is spoken about often and openly.

Get involved!

On an individual level, we encourage you to reflect on whether there is anyone in your life with whom you can initiate a conversation about mental health. We understand that these conversations are not always easy, and there might be concerns about saying the wrong thing. However, saying something is often better than saying nothing.

The following tips may be helpful when navigating conversations around mental health:

1. Choose the right setting: Find a comfortable and private place where both of you can talk openly without distractions.

2. Ask Open Questions: Ie. How have you been feeling lately? ; I’ve noticed some changes in you; is everything okay? ; How can I best support you right now? ; ‘How long have you felt like this – is it an ongoing issue?’

3. Don’t Try to Fix It: Resist the urge to offer quick solutions. Acknowledge that the journey to managing mental health can be complex. Remember you don’t have to have all the answers—sometimes all someone needs is to feel heard.

4. Be Patient: Recognise that not everyone may be ready to open up immediately. Your effort today might pave the way for future conversations.

As we reflect on the stories shared today, we at Helvar reaffirm our commitment to nurturing a workplace culture that prioritises mental health and well-being. By breaking the silence and fostering open conversations, we believe we can continue to build a supportive community at Helvar, where every voice is heard, and every individual is empowered to prioritise their mental health. Let’s continue to fight mental health stigma. Together, we can make a positive impact, one conversation at a time.

To learn more about Helvar’s working culture follow our Life at Helvar Instagram account!