One in four employees in the UK experiences mental health challenges at some time. The stigma surrounding mental health issues often means these challenges are not openly discussed, with people suffering silently rather than seeking help. Recognizing the need to build awareness in this area, the UK organizes a national Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) each year, and CGI is a proud supporter.
With over 5,000 members in the UK, CGI is committed to raising mental health awareness and participated in the UK’s MHAW, which took place from May 11-17, 2015. All activities were coordinated through Oxygen, CGI’s global program for improving the health and well-being of its members.
As part of our involvement, one-hour “Building Resilience” workshops were provided for members at four major CGI sites—along with free head and neck massages and samples of “mood enhancing foods” such as dark chocolate. Members were also offered information on all aspects of mental health, including internal CGI support programs.
Members discussed issues affecting not only themselves but family members during the workshops and took away information to share with the wider CGI community. “Thank you for the very useful workshop. A session like that makes you feel you are not alone and empowers you to do something about it,” said one participant.
Members across the UK were also invited to a webinar on “Mental Health in the Workplace,” hosted by Mind, a well-known mental health charity. More workshops and webinars are being planned, some suggested by members themselves.
As a result of CGI’s participation in MHAW and an ongoing commitment to supporting mental health, members know they are part of a culture where they can openly share mental health issues, knowing they will receive the support they need.