Did you know that almost half of all employee absences from work due to illness are down to poor mental health? Stress, anxiety and depression are among the most frequent reasons that employees call in sick. This is where International Stress Awareness Week comes in. International Stress Awareness Week was introduced by the Stress Management Association (ISMA) in 2018 to increase awareness of the importance of managing stress. This year it takes place this week, between the 7th and the 11th November.
Mental heath is of the upmost importance at Peak Ace. Because of this, we continuously work to not only create a healthy work environment, but also to proactively promote stress management through targeted measures – but more on that later.
A culture of open communication and counselling services pave the way to improved positive mental well-being
There’s a lot more to a healthy and balanced work environment than just ergonomic workstations and healthy snacks. At Peak Ace, we place more emphasis on supporting all our colleagues in promoting their mental health and improving their own mental strength and resilience.
We believe that the cornerstone for raising awareness of mental health is an open and unrestricted communication culture, which we actively live here at Peak Ace. We regularly organise platforms and spaces for Peak Acers to express any challenges and stresses in Feel Good Talks, employee happiness surveys, and conversations with their Team Leads that allow them to work together and find a solution for any given issue.
In addition to an open culture of communication, however, we find it equally important to provide employees with opportunities to practice healthy stress management – and we offer support in doing this. For this reason, Peak Ace, in cooperation with the Fürstenberg Institute (which specialises in mental and corporate health) offers free and regular psychological counselling sessions with external experts to our employees.
Of course, if your mental health is suffering, there are often wide-ranging triggers that may be causing this. In order to improve your mental health, these triggers need to be identified, and so it’s important to us that our free counseling services are not only limited to a work context. Instead, they can be tailored to the individual’s wants and needs to address topics from health, career, family and relationships. This service is available to Peak Acers at any time and can be carried out both by telephone or in a video call.
Raising awareness with annual Mind and Body Awareness days
Alongside our daily mental health support, we also hold Mind and Body Awareness days in order to continuously actively prioritise mental health at Peak Ace. On a Mind and Body Awareness Day we hold workshops with the Fürstenberg Institute to help Peak Acers gain deeper insights into various aspects of stress management, encourage reflecting on their own mental health, and provide helpful coping mechanisms and strategies to manage their mental health.
This year, our Mind and Body Awareness Day followed the motto “Healthy Habits”. Peak Acers came together on the 14th of September to drink smoothies, enjoy healthy snacks, and learn about how even small habits can make a big difference to your stress management when you integrate them into your daily routine. Through workshops that took place throughout the day, Peak Acers learned coping strategies and mindfulness exercises to help them inside and outside of the workplace; and discussed the positive effects of sport for mental and physical wellbeing.
The benefits of sport can, as we know, be huge. The Peak Ace Sports Community has already been bringing Peak Acers together for bouldering, badminton, or table tennis for ages, as exercise plays a big role for Peak Ace and our Peak Acers. Did you know that if done correctly, just 20-30 minutes of physical activity a day can demonstrably reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety? This meant that a few short fitness sessions and an epic volleyball tournament to round off our Mind and Body Awareness Day just made sense.
Putting mental wellbeing in the spotlight
There is absolutely no question that mental stress in the working world is not a new issue – even though its been underestimated and uncatered for for a long time. As the Covid-19 pandemic has aggravated many existing global issues, including economic pressure, social isolation, and additional stresses of home office, we have seen more than ever that protecting our mental health is incredibly important and that good mental health is invaluable. Mental health has as a result, thankfully, increasingly become the focus of public conversation.
Of course, mental health is much more than just a hot topic for us. This is why we are constantly working to support the mental wellbeing of our Peak Ace employees and to make mental health a long term and transparent part of our corporate culture and to keep it in the conversation.