• Emily Malone

What we learned at our Mental Health Awareness half-day course with LIVES

Updated: Jun 30, 2020

Earlier this week, our lovely customer LIVES came in to deliver mental health awareness training to a few of us at oe:gen.

Something we take really seriously at oe:gen is wellbeing (having said that, myself and a fair number of other people in the office are currently “recovering” from payday drinks last night as I write this), and one of the key factors with wellbeing is our mental health.

Mental ill-health in the UK is responsible for 72 million working days lost, and costs employers a hefty £34.9 billion each year – these are just two of some of the scary statistics we were given during our training.

Bear in mind, these statistics are based on the employees we know are suffering from mental ill-health, so the chances are that with the number of people who suffer in silence, these numbers would be significantly higher.

This is exactly why we took part in mental health awareness training – to create a workplace where our team aren’t scared to talk about mental health. It’s something we actively encourage our team to discuss (if they’re comfortable doing so).

Amongst quite a high number of very scary statistics, we learnt a lot. We spoke about the stigma associated with mental health, and the fact that it’s still something people avoid talking about openly.

We learnt about the warning signs of someone suffering, and the risks associated with mental health. We discussed creating a comfortable environment to talk to people who are suffering, and how collectively we can create an environment where we’re all comfortable talking about how we’re feeling.

At oe:gen, we often spend a lot of time “thinking”. We specialise in creating connected experiences, and this isn’t something that comes without a lot of consideration/thought as to “how” we’re going to make something happen. Spending hours thinking can quite literally fill you up with thoughts, and this isn’t always a good thing, which is why quite a lot of us take advantage of our company subscription for the Calm app.

We also encourage our team to take time to actually switch off. This means avoiding looking at emails outside of work hours. Not checking Teams out of hours, and most importantly – not working out of hours.

We all need time to switch off and relax. We also make use of a system provided by Microsoft called MyAnalytics, which is something that allows us to individually assess our own working habits and our ability to disconnect outside of work hours:

It’s important to note that this isn’t something we can view on behalf of our team, it’s designed for only you to use yourself.

All in all, we learnt a lot. If you’re looking to be more aware of mental health and the stigma surrounding it, I’d definitely recommend the mental health awareness half-day course from LIVES!