SARSVL: World Mental Health Day

Rebecca Burton, Senior Business Co-ordinator, has written about the importance that World Mental Health Day holds at SARSVL (Support after Rape and Sexual Violence Leeds)

World Mental Health Day is always an important day at SARSVL but this year it is more at the fore front of our minds particularly because of the work we have been doing over the last 12 months after signing the Mindful Employer charter. Over the last year we have made some positive steps in improving staff wellbeing but this is an ongoing journey and we are continually making improvements to the way we operate in order to support the staff team as best we can.

We’re fully aware of the impact our work has on the women and girls of Leeds but we must always look after the mental health and wellbeing of our small and diligent staff team. At SARSVL we want to support a mentally healthy, supportive work environment both informally and formally and we are doing so through regular 1:1 meetings, supervision and appraisal, case/risk management for frontline staff, mental health awareness training for line managers for supporting staff and ensuring staff are aware of the support available.

Following the changes that have been made since SARSVL signed up to be a member of Mindful employer we still know we have work to do to explore the wider context of staff Health and Wellbeing. We would like to ensure the ongoing Health and Well-being of staff by offering a healthy, safe and supportive working environment. We continually strive towards meeting the demands of operational needs and how these can be realistically balanced with greater flexibility for staff.

Throughout our journey so far we have constantly been taking on advice and suggestions by staff for improvements including everything from the introduction of a staff break out room, providing staff with the 24 hour helpline through Mindful Employer Plus through to updating relevant policies. We are using World Mental Health Day this year as further opportunity to engage with our team and to seek further ideas on staff wellbeing improvements, in our quest to make SARSVL the Employer our staff deserve.

For World Mental Health Day we will be providing staff with a range of healthy snacks, activities like mindfulness colouring/ creative activities as well as using the day to ask staff to reflect on what work based stress is to them, how they recognise signs of stress in themselves and getting them to complete a survey on other aspects of health and wellbeing. We then plan to complete the self-assessment against the wellbeing charter over the coming months and use this along with staff feedback to further improve health and wellbeing information, resources and support for staff. We’re looking forward to hearing staff thoughts on the day and keeping up discussions both on the day and beyond.