How we get our heads around mental health
27th June 2019
Work is super important for your mental health, even if it doesn’t always feel like it on a Monday morning!
According to the Mental Health Foundation, work not only gives you an income, but a purpose in life. It promotes independence and gives you an opportunity to make social contacts. Work can also help prevent physical and mental health problems.
But despite all its benefits, work can also make you feel really unwell.
Work-related stress results in more than 15.4 million working days lost as a result of stress, anxiety or depression, according to a Health and Safety Executive report.
We don’t like the idea of people feeling stressed at work.
That’s why we take mental health really seriously - except when we’re in hysterics hitting each other during a boxing class to reduce stress.
Talk, meditate or take up boxing - you choose
It all started a couple of years ago when Ishaan, our CEO, saw the success that Sanctus, who support mental health in the workplace, had at other start-ups.
He invited them in to talk about mental health. Brad McCaw, one of the mental health coaches, came in and introduced us to what Sanctus was all about.
Brad started visiting the Trussle office every fortnight to give one-to-one sessions to our team.
He’s been coming ever since. There are 16 sessions available a month. They’re entirely confidential - we don’t even know who’s had one.
We all deal with stress and anxiety in different ways. Some people like to talk while others prefer not to. So there’s group meditation twice a month in our quiet room.
And for those of us who’d much rather unwind with exercise, there’s boxing in the local park once a week.
You can do all of these things. Or none of them. And if you do want to join in, it’s free.
Our mental health champion
It’s all organised by Charlotte Bergman, our Office and Community Manager.
“Sometimes you can feel like a hamster running round in a wheel, especially living in London,” said Charlotte. “It’s really important to take time out and give yourself some self-care."
She knocked it out of the park for Mental Health Awareness Week this year. She decided she wanted to do something big, saved up her mental health and wellbeing budget, and boy did she run with it.
There was yoga with Kelly Mulhall, from The Natural Balance, who helped us stretch our way to relaxation.
Nutritional therapist Clarissa Lenherr gave us a really fascinating talk about good mood food, and the brain/gut connection.
Tomasz Pytlos took us to the park for a boxing bootcamp. We discovered that we loved hitting each other, which led to weekly sessions with him.
Wai-Hah Li, one of our Mortgage Advisers, took us for a PowerWave session in the park, which involved lugging sacks of sand around to get our endorphin levels up.
James, from The Wellness Team, talked to us about how vital sleep is for mental health, and gave one-to-one sessions to all the larks and night owls who wanted one.
Alexandra, from GO Mammoth, who takes our regular meditation sessions, came in to give us an extra dose of inner peace.
And three Trusslers - Steph Burke, Ellie Riordan, and Cherie Koh - led discussion groups about why therapy is cool, how saying ‘no’ at work can be the right thing to do, and how to make the question ‘How are you?’ meaningful.
Why we support each other’s mental health
We can only be our best if we feel our best.
“We’re building an environment where everyone can do their best work, and create something incredible," said Charlotte. “For that to happen we need healthy, happy people.
“I’d like people to feel that this is their wonky little family. I call everyone chickens. I have 120 of them and I like to take care of them. Trussle gives me a budget for it, and I want to spend it on making everyone feel looked after and know that if they’ve had a bad morning they can come into work and be supported.
“I loved organising Mental Health Awareness Week. I had so much fun. There was a good buzz in the office. It felt like the whole team was on a journey breaking down the stigma around mental health.
“Some people shared their stories. I was sitting there with goosebumps. Everyone talked openly and honestly. It was such a gorgeous thing. It brought us closer together.”
The difference we make for each other
Many of us are feeling all the better for it, including our Document Expert, Carolina Sanctos.
“I'm very passionate about mental health having struggled with it personally,” she said. “The discussions we had during Mental Health Awareness Week really made me see that I'm not the only one and that these struggles are nothing to be ashamed of.
“In fact, if anything, I feel much more at ease opening up when I'm not at my best and I know I'll be supported!
“I think it's a super important thing and it definitely strengthened bonds and confidence to be our amazing selves. Yoga and meditation were also amazing. After a day of hard work, there really is nothing like one of these two practices to balance my mind.”
Oli West, our Brand and Content Manager, also finds the effort Trussle makes to support our emotional wellbeing really helpful.
“Trussle's the first company I've worked for that actively invests in the mental health of its people,” he said. “And I'd recommend every company do it.
“It encourages the team to be open and supportive with one another, which creates a really good atmosphere around the office. Working in that environment allows me to express my ideas without fear of judgement, which is particularly helpful as a creative.”
Trussle certainly feels like a family, as Charlotte hopes. And wonky? Most definitely.