Today is World Mental Health day, and at BRUU HQ we thought about what that means to us, and what we can do to support it.
Ending the stigma surrounding mental health is vital to improve the statistics; so get the kettle on, it’s time to talk…
In the UK, 1 in 4 people experience a mental health problem each year.
An enormous statistic, but with that figure increasing, awareness as to how we can help is becoming ever more important. The support network surrounding a person can be the key to their recovery. Creating an inclusive environment, encouraging someone to talk about their issue, rather than bury it, is the way to a better state of mind.
At BRUU HQ, we are a fairly balanced team of men and women, and all of us deal with our mental health in different ways. ALL of us however, sometimes rely on others to help. This is why we have introduced so many things into our workplace that promote a happier and healthier headspace.
We understand the importance of talking, recognising if somebody is a little quiet that day, or offering a BRUU if one of the team needs 5 minutes. We are really good at that small stuff, but as a company we are really great at the big stuff too!
A key part of our working week are our team meetings. Every Monday morning, we start the day with positivity, setting ourselves up for a happier, and more productive working week. Taking it in turns to lead the team in something that has motivated us. We share this over a cupper, and breakfast, always making time to ask how everyone’s weekend has been. Fridays conclude with an achievement meeting, what we have enjoyed most that week. Bookending the week with positivity is a great start to creating a positive workplace, but it isn’t all that we do.
Daily, at 3pm, when there is a natural lull in the day, we do BOOMTIME. Each member of the team has a designated day, and we all do a 10 minute activity to boost our mood and our mental wellbeing. Yesterday we went for a walk. Monday, we wrote a card to ourselves congratulating the little things we do rather than just concentrating on the big picture. Last week we did Yoga, wrote songs and made paper aeroplanes.
We have astroturf as carpet, hammocks in the office, (great when you need a time out, as hammocks have been proven to reduce stress and anxiety), we have a tuckbox, wall murals, uplifting music playing, plants, plenty of natural light, cosy sofas, TVs to watch Netflix, and obviously delicious BRUU on tap. We socialise as a team too, it was my 30th birthday last week, and our lovely boss closed the office for a few hours and we had a BBQ to celebrate. All in all, it may be the best place in the world to work, but there is more to it than that…
With work being one of the highest contributors to stress and anxiety disorders, it is a responsibility for everyone to do what they can. Richard Branson is an advocate of it at Virgin, so we must be onto something! Today it has been announced that the banking industry, construction industry, and even the BBC are consciously improving help offered for mental health in the workplace. Theresa May has today announced the appointment of designated Health Minister, Jackie Doyle-Price, to focus on mental health and suicide prevention. Talking openly about the issues is a great step towards ending the stigma surrounding mental health. We are all headed in the right direction.
At BRUU HQ, we are all too aware of mental health issues, with a few of our team being affected by it in one way or another. As our team grows, we are increasingly aware of it. We are encouraged to talk if something is bothering us, and we trust each other enough to do so, and when our latest recruit Nikita came into the BRUU family a couple of months ago, she told us her battle with mental health, and has bravely decided to share her story with you;
“If you google the meaning of addiction you will find the words dependency, dependence, craving, habit, weakness, compulsion, fixation, enslavement and for me mental health is an addiction I would very much like to kick.
I see myself as an addict, on a hard path of recovery which can be so easy to fall off the wagon.
Initially, I wasn’t aware of the signs and triggers that signalled my decline in my mental health. On their own, they are all too easy to ignore. I over slept, had very little energy, under ate, and found myself cancelling social plans for no particular reason. I became ever the recluse. I opted not to talk when I was asked if I was OK, and when I was ready to admit I needed help, I didn’t know where to turn.
I have two failed suicide attempts to my name. The latest one was a little over a year ago, and it has been a long and hard battle to get back to a healthier state of mind. I have made some difficult life choices, and re-locating to North Yorkshire and coming to work for BRUU have been the end of a tricky journey. For now I am flying high and am happy with where I am.
Working in our office provides that support network that was always missing for me. It’s a space of no judgement, no hidden agendas. A happy place, filled with warm people, all with an open mind. Our Monday morning meetings help focus my mind, and make me realise how integral I am to the team, what I do matters.
Learning to live with depression is hard, and it will never completely disappear, but I have made my peace with that. I have learnt to accept that I might not ever be anxiety free and that I am still going to have days when my depression shows its ugly head but by accepting it I can deal with it. I have learnt the hard way that talking early on can save your life, it might not be with a family member but there are so many people out there that can relate and will listen.
Still to this day I have not discussed my attempts with my family, it’s too hard for them to hear but I know when I get low I can call a helpline, I can call a friend, and by recognising the signs that I'm not doing too well is also a sign that it’s time to reach out, time to talk, time to get help. I know for me it is ok not to be ok, it’s when I go too low that it’s not ok, and that is my battle.”
So what do we do now?
This whole month we are supporting Mental Health Awareness. We are blogging, using our social media platforms, and theming our BRUU box on it at the end of the month. In Britain, it is in our culture to put the kettle on in a crisis, so that is exactly what we are asking you to do.
Make a BRUU and talk.
Make a BRUU and listen.
Where to go if you need help
If you, or someone you know, is struggling, there are a number of charities here to help.
The Samaritans are open 24 hours a day. Call 116 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) offers support to men. Call 0800 58 58 58 between 17:00 and 00:00 everyday
Papyrus helps people under 35. Call 0800 068 41 41 - Monday to Friday 10am to 10pm, weekends 2pm to 10pm, bank holidays 2pm to 5pm - or text 07786 209697
Childline is available for children and young people under 19. Call 0800 1111 - the number will not show up on your bill
The Silver Line helps older people. Call 0800 4 70 80 90