World Mental Health Day is marked on 10 October. I will not be giving any talks that day. I have declined the offers. Promoting mental and emotional well-being is my passion and career. I care about mental health but I do not care about the way it is marked.
Many organisations will want to acknowledge 10 October in some way. What’s an easy way to do it? Let’s invite a psychologist to give a talk. We’ll give them 45 minutes, have a Q&A at the end and if we are lucky, we don’t even have to pay them anything. Box ticked. Everyone is happy.
Except. No one will be happy. Your employees will tell you that nothing has changed and will continue to feel disgruntled and demotivated. You’ll feel deflated after all your efforts and vow never to invite that useless psychologist to talk again. The psychologist will leave your office feeling tired and wishing they had used the half a day that they have spent on preparing and giving the talk looking after their own mental health, instead.
Looking after the well-being of your employees is not a once a year thing. It is an every day thing. Improving mental health and emotional well-being takes time, commitment and hard work. Psychologists care about improving mental health but we cannot make something out of nothing. If you want to see magic happen, contact a magician. Contact a psychologist when you are willing to put time and resources into making a lasting impact.
May I suggest you sit down on 10 October and create a 12-month plan on how to support your employees throughout the year. Do you need help? Call a psychologist, schedule a meeting and ask for a quote. Let’s really make a difference with World Mental Health Day!