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Would you know what to watch out for if a colleague was struggling with their mental health?

Good and bad mental health looks different for all of us. One person’s struggle could manifest itself in being late to work or withdrawing in meetings, while another person might overwork themselves to avoid thinking about how they feel.

Lots of us feel uncomfortable talking about mental wellbeing — so you can’t rely on one of your team members coming to you if something’s not right.

By talking about our mental health triggers and stressors, we hope to help break the stigma around mental health and create an environment where people feel psychologically safe enough to share their worries with each other.

When we get to know each other’s triggers and what good support looks like, by each creating and sharing your own mental health guide.

This guided discussion will:

⚡ Encourage your team to be open about their mental health

⚡ Get your team talking about triggers and signs of poor mental health

⚡ Show everyone how to spot signs that a colleague is struggling and how to help

⚡ Set up your team to recognize the conditions each teammate needs to stay mentally healthy at work

⚡ Ask everyone to talk about how they reduce stress

This isn’t about asking people to share anything that they aren’t comfortable with. This session will help us get to know each other and understand what causes us the most stress at work. By understanding, we can help ensure we don’t put each other under undue strain and support each other when we’re struggling.

The session leader will call out a section of the mental health wellness plan and each person will share their stresses and tips for good mental health, and chat through it with the rest of the team. After, the team will add their mental health wellness plans to a shared folder.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

Participants: 2-6 | Time: 60 mins | Difficulty: Medium

Resources: Wellbeing Works slide template “My mental health guide”, a room where participants can stand and present, screen, options for participants to join remotely.

One week in advance

✅ Ask everyone to spend 20-30 minutes creating a simple “My mental health guide” using the PowerPoint template, and email it to you one day in advance of the session.

Remind them to only include things that they’re comfortable sharing, but that you do want them to be as open and honest as possible. That opening up the conversation about mental health means we all have to be a little bit vulnerable, but that’s a good thing.

✅ Check in with your team and ask them if they would prefer to present their decks in-session, or share them in advance and use the session for a discussion and focus on highlights. Remember to reassure your team about confidentiality — these insights will only be shared with the team, not the rest of the company.

One day in advance

✅ Send a reminder to chase down anyone who hasn’t sent you their deck yet

✅ Write down each mental health question is it appears on the slide to ask the group in a randomized order

On the day

  1. Start by reminding everyone why we need to talk more about mental health to break down the stigma. Explain that the purpose of today’s session is to get a deeper understanding of what causes us stress so we can be more understanding and supportive of each other. (5 mins)
  1. Pull your first random question, e.g. “What do I do to reduce stress?”. Answer it yourself first. Ask the team if any of your answers surprised them. (7 mins)
  1. Carry on asking each question in a random order. Invite participation and answers from the rest of the team. Make sure you hear from everyone, not just the loudest. (23 mins)
  2. Reflect on how you can support each other going forward. As a group, discuss how you can adjust your working styles and projects to keep yourself, and each other, mentally well.Were there any surprises in the answers? And what did you find you had in common? (5 mins)
  3. Wrap up the session by telling the team that you’ll be storing their mental health plans in a shared file so that you can refer back to them over time. Ask how everyone feels now that they’ve shared their stressors with each other. (10 mins)

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✅ In your next round of 1:1 meetings, ask each team member for feedback on the session. What was useful, and what could have been better? Did they learn anything new that they’ll use moving forward?

✅ At your next team meeting, ask the team if they would recommend doing this when new people join.

✅ During your future 1:1 meetings remember to ask your team about the stressors that they mention in their health plan. Do they need extra support from you in a particular project?

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