Shades of Support for Mental Health Awareness Week

Reasons why boosting workplace wellbeing is important to Solent Blinds & Curtains

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place annually and is an important reminder of the need to prioritise mental health in our daily lives. This year it falls between the 13th and 19th of May 2024 and it’s a time for individuals and organisations to come together to raise awareness, start conversations, and take action towards building a healthier

The average person will spend a third of their life at work, so it’s safe to say your job can make a huge impact on your quality of life. At Solent Blinds, we believe that promoting a positive and supportive workplace culture is crucial for creating a healthier, happier workforce where each individual can thrive.

We understand that mental health affects everyone, and by fostering an environment where people feel valued, supported and respected, we strive to help reduce stress levels, promote positive mental health and boost workplace wellbeing.

At Solent Blinds, aligning with the ethos of Mental Health Awareness Week, we’ve taken significant strides to nurture and strengthen the wellbeing of our workforce— a community that stands at the heart of our success.

The Importance of Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness Week shines a much-needed spotlight on the crucial topic of mental health, encouraging conversations and actions to support wellbeing. For businesses, this week offers an invaluable opportunity to reflect on the support systems in place for employees - recognising the undeniable link between a healthy work environment and overall business health.

But for us, it’s all about protecting the people behind the business. Employers have a duty to provide a safe and healthy working environment, including addressing mental health concerns.

With an estimated 1 in 4 people experiencing a mental health problem each year, it’s very likely we all know someone who has been negatively affected by mental health issues like stress, anxiety or depression - with work as one of the leading causes. And in today’s fast-paced and demanding world, it’s crucial that we continue to break the stigma surrounding these struggles.

By participating in Mental Health Awareness Week, businesses can help to foster a culture of understanding and support towards mental health.

Solent Blinds’ Commitment to Workplace Wellbeing

At Solent Blinds, catering to quality-conscious homeowners and contract clients across the UK, we understand that our internal community’s health directly impacts the quality and service we provide. Our long-standing tradition of viewing staff as family—some of whom have been with us for 10, 20 and even over 40 years—means looking after each other is not just important; it’s inherent to our culture.

So, we’ve taken a proactive approach to mental health in the workplace, providing our employees with the necessary resources and support to maintain their wellbeing. Our HR department regularly organises workshops and training sessions on mental health awareness, equipping our staff with essential skills and knowledge to identify, manage, and support those struggling with mental health issues.

In addition to professional and confidential support whenever needed, our management team actively promotes an open-door policy, encouraging employees to speak up about any concerns or issues they may be facing.

The Challenge
Understanding the Impact of Workplace Stress on Employee Mental Health

The modern workplace can often be a source of significant stress, with tight deadlines and high expectations contributing to a pressured environment. Recognising the impact this has on mental health has been the first step in our commitment to change.

Recognising the Need for Change

Acknowledging the need for a robust support system within Solent Blinds was pivotal. Our understanding that promoting mental health is not just a moral obligation but a critical component of our business’s success led to actionable steps towards improvement.

Educating and Equipping Employees

We believe that education and training are key to supporting mental health in the workplace. We have implemented workshops and training sessions on stress management, resilience, and emotional intelligence to help our employees develop important skills in dealing with workplace challenges.

The Solution
Implementing Mental Health First Aid Training

A landmark moment in our journey was enrolling our employee, Kerry, in a Mental Health First Aid course. This initiative equipped Kerry with the skills to offer immediate support to colleagues, fostering a culture where seeking help is not just accepted but encouraged.

Creating a Supportive Environment for Open Communication

We’ve strived to create an atmosphere where conversations about mental health are commonplace and stigma-free.

Open communication channels empower our employees to express concerns and seek support without fear of judgment.

Creating an Inclusive Workplace Culture

In addition to providing support and resources for mental health, we have also focused on creating an inclusive workplace culture. This includes promoting diversity and equality, fostering open communication and collaboration, and valuing each employee’s unique strengths and contributions.

Encouraging Work-Life Balance

Solent Blinds promotes a healthy balance between personal life and work commitments. We believe that nurturing this balance is essential for healthy mental wellbeing and, by extension, a resilient workforce.

The Results

Kerry! Our Qualified Mental Health First Aider

Kerry’s story is a testament to our commitment. Since becoming a qualified Mental Health First Aider (MHFAider®),

Kerry has been a pillar of support for our team, offering a listening ear and professional guidance to those in need.

The positive impact of Kerry’s presence in the workplace has been immeasurable.
Measuring the Positive Impact on Solent Blinds Employees

The introduction of mental health initiatives like the implementation of mental health first aid training, promoting open communication, creating an inclusive culture, and encouraging work-life balance have all contributed to improved staff morale and wellbeing. Employees report feeling valued and supported, which translates into a happier, healthier more motivated workforce.

Our team have highlighted the positive changes they’ve experienced, both personally and professionally, underscoring the importance of our mental health initiatives.

Looking Ahead
Future Plans for Strengthening Workplace Wellbeing

It may be Mental Health Awareness Week but our commitment to employee mental health is ongoing.

We plan to expand our support systems, exploring new ways to foster an environment where every employee feels supported and valued - ensuring they are equipped with the tools and resources to maintain their mental wellbeing.

We also recognise that life balance is not only about work commitments but also personal responsibilities and activities so we will continue to promote a healthy balance in all aspects of our employees’ lives.

Inviting Other Businesses to Join the Conversation

We continue to encourage other businesses to recognise the importance of mental health in the workplace and to identify the wellbeing needs of their employees. By implementing mental health initiatives and creating a supportive work culture, companies can contribute to the overall positive wellbeing and success of their staff.

Final Word on Wellbeing

At Solent Blinds, we’re proud of the steps we’ve taken to support our employees’ mental health, and by prioritising employee wellbeing, we have seen firsthand the positive impact it has had on our team.

But our work doesn’t stop here. We’re committed to continuous improvement and advocacy for mental health awareness, through Mental Health Awareness Week and beyond. We hope to inspire other organisations to do the same and join us in prioritising staff wellbeing - creating healthier workplaces and more resilient businesses.

At the end of the day, our employees are our most valuable asset and investing in their mental health is not just an investment in the success of our company but our community. Taking care of our mental health is not a luxury but a necessity for both individuals and businesses, so let’s continue to make it a top priority together.