Mental Health is still considered a taboo subject in the workplace, but at Catsurveys we are eager to break this taboo and create an open and caring culture. Poor mental health is one of the biggest issues in the workplace today. This includes everything from the most commonly experienced symptoms of stress and anxiety, through to more complex mental health conditions, such as depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
As an organisation, we are committed to our employee’s wellbeing. We demonstrate this with the fantastic benefits we offer including private healthcare, company sick pay, gym membership among others. At Catsurveys, we want to create a culture in which employees feel free to share ideas and opinions without the fear of repercussions or reprisals.
Our aim is to safeguard our staff’s wellbeing, addressing problems before they become severe, and supporting staff when issues do emerge. We want to ensure that mental health issues are communicated across our organisation to normalise the discussions, and to promote positive preventive approaches to good mental health.
What we’re doing
We advertised for the role of an ‘Emotional and Psychological Champion’ in our internal employee newsletter. Our aim for the Emotional and Psychological Champion was to have someone who feels passionately about empowering their peers to normalise the discussions surrounding mental health, someone who will drive changes in all our perceptions and attitudes, and provide visibility for this fundamental aspect of our wellbeing.
By doing so we would create a greater awareness and understanding, removing the stigma that usually surrounds mental health. Additionally, we want Catsurveys to be an environment that rewards innovation and creativity rather than stifle it, and to ensure that we are an emotionally and intellectually safe organisation.
The responsibility of Emotional and Psychological Champion has been taken on by our Office Co-ordinator, Anastasia Kralia.
“When I saw the post for the role of Emotional and Psychological Champion I knew straight away that this was something I would absolutely love to do.” Explains Anna.
“I have a deep interest in this area and even a Psychology degree to go with it so I knew I would give it my all as the Emotional and Psychological Champion and try and do the best job I can.”
Part of Anna’s role involves working with Michelle Ball, our Human Resources Manager, to devise a new ‘Mental Health Policy’. Michelle and Anna attended a ‘Managing Mental Health in the Workplace’ training day to expand their knowledge on mental health and ensure we are doing the best we can at Catsurveys. They completed the training day successfully, gaining a wealth of knowledge in identifying the signs of mental illness, early intervention, how to help prevent it happening.
The future of Catsurveys
Anna’s aims as the Emotional and Psychological Champion include pioneering a Mental Health Policy and striving to remove the stigma attached to talking about mental health. Anna will also have the opportunity to raise the topic of mental health to the Senior Management Team twice per year.
“There is so much I hope to achieve as the Emotional and Psychological Champion. I want to get us all talking about how important our mental health is. Michelle and I would like to try and implement things that can improve our mental wellbeing in the workplace.” Explains Anna.
“These can vary from little changes in the workplace to how we deal with serious issues. I hope we can make at the very least a difference in how people view mental health and how important it is to take care of ourselves.”
By creating this role within our organisation, we can contribute towards an emotionally and intellectually safe environment; it is a declaration that we welcome intellectually challenging and emotionally safe discussions. We embrace the difficult conversations and are both empathetic to employees needing support, and receptive of employees who have ideas or suggestions that can help move the company forwards.
Achieving our vision
By encouraging both emotional and intellectual safety within our organisation we can truly live every single one of our values:
- We are enabling our employees to reach their full potential, we are valuing our people as our greatest strength.
- We are demonstrating all aspects of safety are our number one priority.
- We trust each other.
- We always act with respect and integrity.
- We are continually looking to improve our processes and systems to deliver customer satisfaction and continuous improvement.
We are actively promoting an environment whereby employees feel comfortable sharing ideas and opinions without the fear of harsh judgement and repercussions.