Employers up and down the country are being targeted in a new campaign by Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England to encourage people to be themselves in the workplace.
The campaign’s digital centrepiece, the My Whole Self toolkit, is designed to help unlock employee productivity by supporting employers to promote authenticity and acceptance in the workplace. By bringing their ‘whole self’ to work, employees will benefit from improved mental health, boosting business outcomes in the process.
One of the key messages of the MHFA campaign is that people should not conform to a one-size-fits-all ‘work-shaped suit’, or be expected to leave part of themselves at the door when they arrive at work.
Speaking about the campaign, Simon Blake, Chief Executive of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England, said: “Empowering people to be their authentic self isn’t just the right thing to do, it also makes good business sense. Being our whole self at work enables improved performance, boosting creativity and innovation.”
He added that people need to live authentically in their bodies and their minds so they can feel the best they can.
Writing in a blog post in February 2020, ahead of this month’s campaign launch, Blake opened up about why being yourself was important to him. He admitted that he wasn’t able to deliver at his best previously because he still hadn’t come out (as gay). Feeling unable to talk openly and honestly about his feelings, Blake says he focussed on protection, rather than excellence and innovation.
Blake says that bringing your whole self to work helps build psychological safety and deeper connections, which research shows to be two of the key ingredients of every successful team.
Call to action
Last month, ahead of the campaign launch, MHFA held an event at the House of Lords to brief stakeholders about what was coming up and what to expect in the digital toolkit.
Another pivotal aspect of the campaign was the ‘My Whole Self Day’, which occurred on Wednesday 18th March. The purpose of the day was to raise awareness about the importance of encouraging people to be themselves, especially in the workplace.
The My Whole Self toolkit includes lots of digital resources, including posters and GIFs to social-media posts and web copy.
The Institute of Directors, the Federation of Small Businesses and the Chartered Management Institute are among the organisations that have already said they will be supporting the campaign.
This is such a good practical campaign where people don’t just talk about mental health but actually experience and open up about real life situations and hang-ups they have and hide from others.
For people to be able to embrace this campaign really shows how far we have come in tackling mental health issues at work and actually opening up and realising issues that affect each and every one of us in real life, day to day situations.
Rebekah has worked for Premier Choice Group since 2009, and today develops our consumer client base. Working within a strong team of consultants, Rebekah maintains a high service level set out for our clients whilst building and retaining sound relationships throughout the company’s portfolio.