Head Office, 17-27 Queen's Square
17-27 Queen's Square
Middlesbrough
North Yorkshire
England
TS2 1AH

We are incredibly proud of the work of our team, and know that our business wouldn’t be what it is without them.

Looking after them is paramount to our success, so we have a team of 48 Mental Health First Aiders who work tirelessly in addition to their roles across the business to support the well being of every member of the PD Ports family.

Here we catch up with Rachael.

 

Why is mental health awareness so important within a workplace?

Work is a big part of our lives, it’s where we spend a lot of our time. Having a fulfilling job can be good for your mental health and general wellbeing.

We all have times when life gets on top of us – sometimes that’s work-related, like deadlines or travel. Sometimes it’s something else – our health, our relationships, or our circumstances.

It is important that mental health at work is addressed for those with existing issues, for those at risk, and for everyone as a whole. A toxic work environment can be corrosive to our mental health.

 

What is a simple act of kindness anyone can do while at work?

Notice when someone doesn’t seem themselves and ask if they are ok.

 

What is one tip/piece of advice you would give someone to boost their positive mental health?

Talk. Connect with people and share what is troubling you.

 

Have you ever experienced an act of kindness from another while at work that has helped your mental health?

I was very grateful at the beginning of this current situation when my manager helped me realise that I was struggling. She checked in on me and forwarded some helpful resources. I was able to reflect on what was going on for me and put some coping mechanisms in place.

 

Have you ever provided an act of kindness for another while at work?

I’ve noticed when friends are not themselves and asked if they are ok. I’ve suggested a walk out at lunch and a chat and when needed brought the biscuits out J

 

What is the most important thing to remember when considering mental health at work?

I guess for me it is remembering that we all have our part to play in creating a positive and supportive work environment.

 

What does PD Ports offer its team to support their mental health?

Even the fact that there are employees trained as Mental Health first aiders in the business, hopefully is helping to raise awareness of mental health and reduce stigma. Hopefully, this will enable more people to talk about their mental health and get support when they need it.

Managers have been trained to help and offer support to teams and there is the dedicated employee helpline that can be accessed by anyone24/7.

 

This year, Mental Health Awareness Week falls in some very peculiar times. What changes have you seen in the recent weeks and months from companies and employees around kindness, support and general mental health?

The current situation has meant that a lot of us who are used to working together in an office are now working from home which is very different. Our managers have been great in trying make sure we have the right level of communication from the business and keeping us in regular contact with each other.

I’ve seen this situation affecting people’s mental health, people who have never struggled with their mental health are finding themselves struggling. I’ve also seen how people are trying to reach out to each other with acts of kindness and how it is bringing people together to support each other.

 

How do you think COVID-19 is going to change perceptions and approaches to mental health practices within business going forward?

I think COVID-19 has to change perceptions of mental health within business. It has been widely publicised, the effect it is having on so many people’s mental health, that I think there will inevitably be an increase in numbers of people living with mental health conditions.

In terms of the approach, I think the whole way of working is going to change going forward. With social distancing in place and more remote working, people are going to be affected in different ways.

I think even more will need to be done to raise awareness, reduce stigma and provide support.

New ways will need to be established of reaching out to people.

 

If you would like more information about mental health, its impact and how it can be developed, please visit the Mental Health Foundation website here: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/

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