Mental health day is an international day for awareness and recognition of global mental health education, and advocacy against the social stigma that is associated with mental health issues. In an initiative taken by the World Federation for Mental Health, World Mental Health Day was celebrated for the first time in the year 1992.
A huge population of mental health advocates and supporters for mental health causes come together to celebrate Mental Health Day as an annual awareness program that focuses on mental illnesses, the different aspects associated with mental health, and the major impact that mental illnesses have on people at a global level.
How we celebrate Mental Health Day at work
For the past four years, I have been working as a Content Writer/Editor and Consultant, and the journey has been an interesting, insightful, and enriching one, to say the least. Being an organization working in areas primarily focused on mental health and the overall well-being of individuals, we take mental health and the areas associated with mental health very seriously. We celebrate Mental Health Day in our office as an occasion on the 10th of October every year.
1. Putting up inspirational quotes
On Mental Health Day last year, we decided to put up some inspirational quotes all over the office, these included quotes like “You’re doing great”, “Believe in yourself”, “Take care of your mental health” and several others. When we were done, everyone agreed that they looked great – not only they were aesthetically pleasing but they also provided much-needed motivation for all throughout the time they remained in the office space.
2. Spending time in nature’s lap
Nature has been known to be a mood-lifter since time immemorial, therefore on the 10th of October last year (it was a Sunday), we went on an excursion and planted a sapling each, painting each of our thumbs green for the day. It was so much fun! There were 2-3 who couldn’t make it, we decided to send a small office plant to each of them to nurture at their homes. In the upcoming week, we brought a few more office plants too – one for our break room – it was placed right at the center.
3. Having a giveaway
We also organized a giveaway on the occasion of Mental Health Day last year – comprising of old, unused garments, books and other items – we decided to donate everything from our own homes to underprivileged children. The giveaway was executed over the entire week prior to Mental Health Day and the entire event was captured on video. Their smiles were the best possible gifts we could have received in return! So many of us today are busy cribbing and complaining, we forget how privileged we are. We forget to express gratitude for the small things that we have in life and end up being miserable and unhappy for no reason.
Why mental health is more than “just another issue” for us
Raising awareness about mental health has been our motto ever since our company was conceptualized and founded. Mental health awareness is one of the primary goals that we have, and each of us working here believes in our cause to the fullest. We have seen known people, including our near and dear ones struggle with mental health issues and go about their day like nothing has happened – till one day when they reach their breaking point.
So many people, to this day, do not talk about mental health issues they face – they either do not take it too seriously or are too embarrassed because of the societal stigma associated with mental health.
Creating a safe and positive work environment for all our employees is our first and foremost priority. Appreciating what our coworker is wearing (this appreciation must happen in a sophisticated manner of course) or their recent work performance are few of the ways in which you can boost their sense of being and make them feel good about themselves. A simple compliment or small acts of kindness can truly go a long way and lift someone up in ways unimaginable.
Helping out a coworker in times of need, simply getting them a cup of coffee can work wonders and lift up their mood for the day. Checking up on their physical and mental health is also our responsibility as an organization. Letting our employees be the best version of themselves and perform to the best of their abilities is what we aim for because our employees are an integral part of our organization – their continuous toil and hard work has helped us build and grow our brand name consistently over all these years.
How we plan to celebrate Mental Health Day this year
This year on Mental Health Day, we are keen on having a full-fledged celebration in our office given that the work from home scenario does not arise again. Prior to that, we are in talks with a few mental health professionals to visit our office on a weekly basis so that any employee who faces any kind of mental health issue is able to talk to a professional in a safe space, although we hold great pride on our office space in already being a very safe space – we feel comfortable in sharing different thoughts, creative ideas for content creation and confiding in each other from time to time as well. We wholeheartedly believe in the idea that creativity can bloom in an open space.
These are a few of the simplest ways in which mental health days can be celebrated at the workplace. We have to remember that Mental Health Day is just one day of the year, and it is partly our responsibility to ensure that our employees remain in the best possible headspace during the time we work together, or at least close to that throughout the year. Having positive thoughts about each other and the work that we do, sharing positive vibes with each other, and making each other feel good about each other above all – these will help keep mental health issues among employees at bay and ensure the workplace remains a super productive as well as fun one at the same time!