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 Group HR Officer, Haleema.

 

Why is mental health awareness so important within a workplace?

It is a fact that the majority of people spend the majority of their time at work and therefore, the workplace should be somewhere they feel comfortable in raising any issues and talking openly about mental health.

 

The workplace could be one of the first places to identify any potential mental health illnesses and therefore it’s important to embed a culture that is confident in doing so.

 

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

I personally think anything as simple as remembering how a colleague likes their tea or coffee, or bringing birthday cake in to celebrate can make big differences at work

 

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

Find a hobby you enjoy and dedicate time to it at least on a weekly basis – ideally, find something you can set time aside to do every day that would make you feel good

 

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

Yes – I’ve had times where things have happened in my personal life and colleagues have taken the time to notice something may be up and supported me through it by talking about it or physically helping me find the information I need, for example

 

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

I’d like to think so – from small things like picking up a new box of biscuits for the office to share, leaving short, friendly notes on peoples desks or making someone a cup of tea all count towards a positive environment.

 

On a bigger scale, I think being aware of your colleague’s emotions and sensitively addressing them if there is a potential issue goes a long way.

 

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

Mental health is different for everyone – what might bother one person may not cause another person a second thought. The way people feel is a very personal thing and we should be open to that without judgement.

 

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

PD Ports offers Mental Health first aiders across the business, an inclusive and open culture and great perks/employee benefits.

 

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?

I think mental health has now become something that is talked about more within companies and welcomed – it’s not a taboo subject anymore. Companies are adopting more well-being strategies and promoting well-being techniques. Employees are finding new ways to connect through technology to make up for less physical time in the office together.

 

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

I think there will be a positive change. I think the current crisis has encouraged people to share how they are handling it and sharing ideas as to how to keep busy or how to positively impact well being, which is going to normalise talking in this way going forward.