Today is World Mental Health Day, and it’s a topic that is close to our hearts and minds. The last few years has taken a heavy toll on many people, and highlighted how important it is that we do what we can to take of ourselves and others.
We have always tried to do what we can to ensure that we maintain a healthy relationship with our work, and those that we work with. Whether this is our Friday night gatherings to see off the week; practice lunches; various sporting activities, from canoeing the Spreewald to table tennis; the catchily named ‘Wellbeing Waffle Wednesday’; Tik Tok dance battles; the occasional cuddle with office dog, Dobby; the odd trip to the pub for a swift orange juice, of course; visiting a gallery; or getting out together for a cycle in the countryside; we try to do things that bring us together, puts a smile on our faces, and allows us to enjoy each other’s company away from the rough and tumble of everyday architecture.
However, alongside the fun stuff, we do recognize that it is a serious subject and should be treated with the upmost respect. We have been working with Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England, who have given two members of the team, Dieo Weeranarawat and Laura Barnes, the training to become Mental Health First Aiders. MHFA’s fantastic programme has provided us with the knowledge we need to support our teams, review our internal policies, raise awareness to help reduce the stigma around mental health and ensure that everyone is aware of the support and services available to them.
We would also like to highlight the work of the Architects Mental Wellbeing Forum, whose useful toolkits have helped us to further develop and shape our approach.
Below are some links that we found useful in helping us further our understanding, and that we hope will help you too.