10 October marks World Mental Health Day, when we can all take time to reflect on our own mental health and how we are supporting wellness in our workplace.

To say 2021 has been a challenge is an understatement. We’ve all felt the effects of lockdowns, restrictions or loss, and events like Covid-19 can impact everybody and their mental health. As some offices start to re-open, there is a lot to think about at home and at work, and prioritising our mental health has never been more important.

Mental health affects our capacity to work productively, communicate, and form and maintain effective relationships. Working well and contributing to a team effort drives self-esteem, gives a positive sense of community, and improves productivity and satisfaction for individuals and the whole team. When mental health is good, everybody benefits.

Looking lively

Being active can reduce stress, negative feelings such as depression or loneliness, and improve sleep. With this in mind, we actively encourage our people to improve their health – physical and mental – through sport and physical activity, and log it in Lively, our employee health and sports app.

All about getting fit, connecting with people and creating winning teams, Lively enables participants to record their progress and work towards collective goals. They can also compete in contests and challenges; in recognition of UK Mental Health Awareness week employees were encouraged to take time to exercise in nature, and throughout May and June, 78 employees across 21 countries logged their running, cycling, swimming and walking to clock up a huge combined 18,938 km.

Managing mental health

We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health, and in both cases our health can vary from day to day. Managers need to be aware that work can trigger or exacerbate such issues. Good management can play a powerful role in fostering wellbeing and sustaining good mental health.

Recognising this, we’ve provided mental health management training for our managers, and in the UK we created a mental health toolkit for all with links to useful resources including government guidance, working-from-home tips, and health and safety advice. There are several training resources available to managers and team members in our training platform, Percipio.

Are they really OK?

Last month saw the Westcon-Comstor Australia team dress up in their brightest yellow outfits in support of R U OK? Day. R U OK? is a harm prevention charity that encourages people to stay connected and have conversations that can help others through difficult times in their lives.

The day was an informal opportunity for colleagues to connect and compete against each other to win the prize for ‘best dressed’ and an R U OK? Day quiz. Above all, this was an important reminder to check in and stay connected with each other during challenging times.

Wellness is a spectrum

World Mental Health Day may fall on 10 October each year, but it also serves as a timely reminder that mental health is not a one-day event. We all have mental health every day, and taking steps to support our wellbeing and our colleagues will shape a happier and healthier workplace for us all.

For more information on mental health and wellness at work, check the Stay Healthy channel in Teams and HR Self-Service. If you are struggling with your own mental health, please reach out to your local HR team or manager.