Following the success of last year’s panel discussion where experts in the field of wellbeing gathered to discuss the importance of mental health, this year the programme of activities recognised that people have struggled during the pandemic, emotionally and physically. The week, named ‘Wellness Week’, centred around the importance of our overall wellbeing. All aspects of wellness were covered, including physical, mental, and financial wellbeing.
Financial wellbeing is so important because we know that money issues can contribute to severe mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, and high stress levels. Sessions from Connor Broadley and Aviva looked at how to manage in-goings and out-goings, savings, investments, and pensions.
On the physical wellness sphere, employees enjoyed a virtual yoga session, and a webinar focused on how to best support our sleep, including the importance of relaxation, nutrition, and tips on how to get the best night’s sleep. Bupa also hosted two talks covering specific areas of health that affect both men and women throughout their lifetimes.
A virtual mindfulness session allowed employees to reset and focus, as well as ease feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. Demonstrations were provided on our Employee Assistance Programme and Thrive mental health app, both excellent at supporting anyone struggling with their mental health. Aviva also hosted a ‘Stress and Resilience’ session which highlighted both the physical and psychological reactions to stress and provided techniques to enhance our ability to cope.
Head, back and shoulder seated massages took place in the office over two days during the week. Massages not only provided physical benefits such as relaxing muscles, pain relief and improved circulation but they are also beneficial for relieving stress, reducing anxiety, and promoting better sleep. A drop-in nutrition clinic, healthy food demonstrations and a smoothie bike were also provided in the office.
An important aspect of the week was that OMD EMEA’S fully trained mental health first aiders made themselves available for drop-in sessions. The mental health first aider’s role is to be a point of contact if someone is experiencing mental health issues or emotional distress, be there to listen, offer initial support and help the individual access further support and information.
In addition to the activities which took place in wellness week and in recognition of World Mental Health Day, OMD EMEA gifted all employees with an additional day’s leave. The aim of the day is for employees to take some time out for themselves and look after their mental health. Employees are encouraged to use the day as they wish, be it spending the day in bed, going for walk or catching up with friends and family.
Katie Crouch is OMD EMEA’s People Manager