Coinciding with Time to Talk Day, a campaign that encourages everyone to be more open about mental health, the summit gave us an opportunity to further shape our current wellbeing strategy. The day was organised into three interactive sessions; stress management, how to have a supportive conversation and thoughts on what can be done to improve the current wellbeing strategy at Vacherin.
The stress management session, run by Shane Cooke, covered the signs of stress, identifying stressors and tips on reducing stress. The group then volunteered their own stressors at home and at work and discussed the way that stressors can intertwine, making them difficult to separate.
The next session, run by Klaudia Mitura, gave tips on how to share, listen and respond well during conversations about mental health. She emphasised the need to be vulnerable, non-judgemental and how it was important not to make assumptions when having these conversations. When listening and responding Klaudia recommended staying 100% focused on the person who has come to share with you. This means not interrupting, maintaining eye contact, demonstrating open body language, not turning the conversation to your experiences and, crucially, not giving advice!
The last session of the day was about the future of the wellbeing strategy at Vacherin and asked the group 3 questions:
- What activities could you do with your teams onsite to boost wellbeing?
- What resources do you need from the wellbeing team to promote and support wellbeing?
- How can we create a positive & open culture at Vacherin?
The answers to these questions will help us improve our existing Wellness Strategy, which currently includes expanding our network of Mental Health First Aiders so that there is more in-house support, providing resources to site teams to aid mental health, and setting a wellbeing strategy for ongoing assistance.
Overall this was fascinating day full of valuable insight on stress and stress management, supportive conversations and what employees at Vacherin hope to see in our growing wellbeing strategy!