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Mental Health Awareness Week - A call-to-action for HR professionals

Industry News

The theme of Mental Health Awareness Week 20222 is “Reconnect - with the people and places that lift you up.” What can HR professionals take away from this?

The media have been talking about the importance of mental health ever since the beginning of the pandemic. However, taking care of your own and others’ mental health at work and outside of work is an at-all-time priority regardless.

This year, Mental Health Awareness Week took place from 26 September – 2 October with the theme: “Reconnect - with the people and places that lift you up.”

  • Monday – Reconnect with Yourself  
  • Tuesday – Reconnect with A friend or loved one 
  • Wednesday – Reconnect with Special places 
  • Thursday – Reconnect with Community  
  • Friday – Reconnect with Nature  

Reconnection in mental wellness and the role of leadership & HR 

Leadership and HR plays a vital role in cultivating the wellbeing conversation and solutions at work. We should learn to understand our employees – what motivates them and what may be the root cause if they struggle.

Help your employees reconnect with themselves 

No one share the same definition of life success or happiness. It’s best to take your time in redefining your employees’ definition of success at a personal and a team level. You must develop clear and fair expectations of their roles, their work, and the working standards while making sure your employees are not burnout doing their job. Communication and engagement are the key to learn about your employees.  

Encourage them to reconnect with a friend, loved one, family, or special places 

You must respect your own and others’ boundaries to aim for the work-life balance. Everyone in the workplace should be encouraged to take a rest and be completely away from work during time off to spend time with their families and friends. 

Create chances to reconnect with Community 

Opportunities to network, to have a korero with colleagues, to volunteer in order to give back to the community, should be provided in the workplace. At HRNZ, we advocate for regular HR Café Connects and other events where our community can gather and share knowledge.  

Foster a positive environment that allows everyone to reconnect with nature 

Nature gives us the environment to flourish, and when we flourish, we have the mental and physical capacity to help our community to give back to nature. Research reveals an array of mental and physical health benefits (such as lower blood pressure, reduced anxiety and depression, better memory, etc.) could be enhanced by visiting wilderness.  

Workplaces practices may include having green spaces in the office, supporting sustainability learnings and behaviours, or encouraging sharing stories about the wilderness your colleagues visited in the last few months.  

Take care of your own wellbeing, as you cannot pour from an empty cup

Here are some quick tips to self-care for HR professionals: 

  • If you are struggling, don’t keep it all to yourself, reach out to your manager, family, and friends 
  • Get help – therapy is an option 
  • Being aware of your own wellbeing and limitations and set your own boundaries 
  • Have a daily non-negotiable where you are enjoying your small breaks  
  • Avoid time confetti (where you shred useful blocks of time into tiny pieces) - Get in flow on a project in your focused time so you can knock it out of the park! 
  • Celebrate the small stuff  
  • Dial the right things up and down – remove social media or negative news during specific times and listen to inspiring TED talks, or podcasts instead!  
  • Switch on your internal motivation – Picture the satisfied feeling of completion. 

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