Mental Health Awareness Week 2023

17 May 2023
A group of people discussing the importance of mental health at work

At SLPE, we recognise the importance of mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. With Mental Health Awareness Week underway, we would like to share our thoughts on this year’s theme of ‘anxiety’ and give an insight into our commitment to mental wellbeing.

No Panic, which is an excellent charity specialising in anxiety related disorders, describes this as “when anxiety takes control of your life and stops you from doing certain things or when you start to avoid certain situations that it becomes a disorder.” Read more.

How many people do you know that have felt that at one point or another in their life? Do you think you would know the exact answer?

Anxiety is a normal feeling that everyone experiences when thinking about an event in the future. It tells us that we need to exercise caution, to be alert and have our guard up. Anxiety can be caused by any number of day-to-day situations: perhaps you’ve forgotten to pay a bill, you have an important meeting, or you’re due to attend a social event with new people. Your reaction and level of anxiety can be on a varying scale depending on the circumstance, the person, and sometimes how full your metaphorical cup is already.

As a team who prides itself on being progressive with our people policies and practices, we are looking to shine a spotlight on anxiety inspired by Mental Health Awareness Week. We aim to increase understanding, reduce stigma, and equip individuals with strategies to prevent anxiety from becoming a debilitating problem.

The Importance of Mental Health

Our people are our greatest asset. With the mental health and wellbeing of our team at the forefront of our minds, we chose to invest in mental health training for every staff member. What better way to try and address the stigmatism that still exists around mental health than to forearm our team with a deeper understanding and knowledge of what mental health is. After all, knowledge is power and, at SLPE, we aim to empower our staff in all areas of life.

When asked about the topic, Luke Jacques, Associate Director at SLPE commented: “The offshore renewable industry is booming but at the same time there is a huge push to keep costs low. The increased workload and continued drive for cost reductions, plus the ever-blurrier boundary between work and home, can put pressure and stress on people in the industry – and this is on top of whatever stressors life outside of work throws up. At SLPE, we work hard to make sure all of our employees have the knowledge, tools and techniques for keeping happy and healthy both at work and at home. It’s a win-win situation for us as it’s no secret that happy employees do great work!”

We recognise that mental health, much like our physical health, will fluctuate between varying degrees on our own unique spectrum. With physical illness, we openly accept and empathise with one another so why should it be harder identifying and talking about our mental health?

At SLPE, we believe that by providing training we can continue to foster and develop a culture of empathy, awareness, and support. Our goal is for every employee to feel equipped to recognise and respond to mental health challenges, not only in themselves but also in their colleagues, friends, and family. We are pleased to say that over half of our team are now certified by St Johns Ambulance as Mental Health Responders and that we aim to train all staff by the end of Summer 2023.

What else?

We don’t stop at training. Alongside our mental health training we have implemented:

   • A reading corner with books ranging in topics including anxiety and stress

   • An app encouraging everyone to band together to take a break from work and exercise

   • Walk and Talk – 1:1 wellbeing sessions that tale place outside with the aim of creating a more relaxed environment in which to talk while walking and exploring the local area

   • Mental Health First Aiders – as well as empowering all staff to be trained Mental Health Responders, we have trained Mental Health First aiders; this additional training equips staff with the knowledge to identify those who require mental health support and the confidence to offer assistance, when required

   • Training courses from wellbeing specialists (e.g. Aquarius and Mind)

   • Cycle-2-Work scheme.

We’re always on the lookout for new and innovate ways to improve our collective wellbeing. What do you do to support your mental health? We would love you to share the ones you think are most useful with us.

Luke Jacques concludes: "I encourage everyone to embrace Mental Health Awareness Week and grab a colleague or two for a friendly chat over a coffee this week.”

Find out more about our office culture and working at SLPE.