Sunday 10 October 2021 is World Mental Health Day – a programme that was initiated by the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) in 1992. This year’s theme is ‘Mental health care for all: let's make it a reality’. Under this slogan, World Mental Health Day 2021 aims to recognise and learn from the ways in which the ongoing pandemic has affected people’s mental health, and how different groups and countries have found new ways of providing mental health care to their populations. WFMH is also encouraging people to highlight positive stories as an inspiration to others.
In addition, Mental Health UK has created a special film to coincide with the event. ‘Forward Together for Mental Health’ aims to raise the profile of mental health in the UK, from those severely affected by mental illness, to people whose mental health has worsened during the coronavirus crisis.
How are we marking World Mental Health Day at OAS?
At OAS, we’re taking the opportunity to reflect on the importance of good mental health and to raise awareness of the mental health support that we offer to all our learners and colleagues. We’re also celebrating the incredible journey of an award-winning apprentice – Davina Kaur transformed her life through her apprenticeship, overcoming significant mental health challenges with the support of her family, friends, training team and mentors. Davina trained at the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre (AMTC), in Coventry, which is also run by OAS’s apprenticeship training provider, MTC Apprenticeships.
Supporting mental health is part of our commitment to welcoming all forms of diversity, and ensuring that everyone is supported to fulfil their potential.
For any organisation aiming to grow its community’s diversity, it is essential to make sure this is happening within an inclusive culture. An inclusive approach helps to create a psychologically safe space where everyone feels free to be their true and authentic selves without stress, fear or anxiety which could otherwise lead to more mental health challenges.
Supporting good mental health for our learners and colleagues
OAS is proud to have a team of Wellbeing Champions, who are fully trained Mental Health First Aiders and on hand to provide confidential one-to-one support to our learners and colleagues. They also hold Wellbeing Coffee Catch-Ups, where anyone can drop-in and check-in to discuss that week’s theme and general well-being topics, as well as talking about how they are feeling.
Our Occupational Health Advisor is available to support any wellbeing queries, including mental health, and we have a centrally published list of mental health resources within our Information Advice and Guidance packs for any learners and colleagues who prefer to seek external help independently.
Our Safeguarding Team is always available to assist learner wellbeing concerns, and we offer personal mentors to learners who may be struggling with challenges including mental health issues during their learning journey.
For our colleagues, our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) offers 24/7 access to a comprehensive resource library of audio blogs, articles, toolkits and vlogs around lots of different topics, as well as a telephone counselling service.
We also offer learning needs and wellbeing risk assessments, with supporting adjustments such as time out cards and personal mentors; signposting information, advice, guidance, and support; and Mental Health enrichment sessions, including guest speakers. We’re appointing expert consultants to partner with us and drive our mental health support strategy forward – keep your eye on our social media feeds for more exciting details soon!
Find out more
For more information about World Mental Health Day 2021, you can visit https://mentalhealth-uk.org/get-involved/mental-health-awareness-days/world-mental-health-day-2021/.