Brunel Mental Health week

Laura Chappell, Chief Executive Officer, Brunel_670x504
Laura Chappell
Chief Executive Officer
20th May 2020

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The marking of Mental Health Awareness Week, which started on Monday, has never felt more important. As the world continues to grapple with the new challenges facing us, we must also continue to invest in the people around us by promoting mental wellbeing and this is something that I feel passionately about as a CEO

Advocating for mental health awareness is something we are proudly passionate about at Brunel. We firmly believe in the importance of investing in our staff, and that means taking care of their overall wellbeing – both professionally and personally.

We are still a relatively new organisation, but as we have grown we have continued to widen our resources to support employees. We now have a trained group of Mental Health first aiders; a go-to for confidential support and signposting people towards critical support services such as cognitive behavioural therapy counselling and coaching.

Perhaps most importantly, we continue to work on cracking the long-held stigma surrounding mental health in the workplace, promoting monthly one-to-one check-ins with management and actively encourage the importance of taking mental health days to rest and recuperate.

Mental health during lockdown

Our previous day-to-day normality may have been cast away with this pandemic, but we are determined to diversify and reflect on how we have adapted for the good and decide what the new normal may look like for us. In the midst of a national lockdown, the accompanying challenges of working from home, childcare and increased anxiety can be particularly tough on mental health. Embracing flexitime working hours, promoting open communication and offering readily available support systems are vital to keep people safe, well and productive during this time.

Going digital

This week Brunel Pension Partnership will get stuck into a number of activities to participate in Mental Health Awareness Week. We’ve had to adapt our usual Mental Health Awareness Week activities to go digital, virtual Zoom kitchen hangouts, mental health workshops on mastering anxiety techniques and a very brave presentation from one of our team to discuss their personal experience with mental health. We’ll also be sharing our morale boosting lockdown recommendations- the music, books, Netflix series and recipes that we’ve been enjoying during this time.

We are encouraging people to remain active, taking the time to get outside and move- asking people to share the local walking routes in their area with photos to match and conducting online yoga and fitness classes.

These small, uplifting acts give colleagues a chance to connect and provide some much needed respite from daily stresses.

Looking to the future, we will be faced with continuing challenges to adapt to a post-pandemic world recognising that one size won’t fit all and working flexibly to support our staff and clients during this transition.

We want to continue to empower our employees and provide readily available resources to equip staff with the tools to take care of their mental health. We hope that you will join us this week in promoting Mental Health Awareness week. Now, more than ever, mental health is something we all must work together to remain vigilant on.


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