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Recently we have been talking about our own lived experiences with mental health needs or learning disabilities. As part of our collaboration with the ‘time to change’ movement we, have been encouraging each other to speak up about our own experiences and to break the stigma on mental health and learning disabilities. Some of us have shared our experiences publicly, or just within the company or not all. Whichever way we chose to deal with our own experiences is our own choice but by us sharing our stories we are at least showing that it is Okay to have challenges in life. We are showing that we are all human and no matter our position in the company or life we can face obstacles. It shows the people that we support that they can overcome their own challenges and live a rewarding and fulfilling life. We can empathise with their needs and provide guidance on how to move forward through our own experiences.
I hope that by sharing our stories that, the employee who wishes to keep their challenges to themselves knows that it is Okay to not be Okay and finds some strength in knowing they are not alone. I hope that the people we support draw some inspiration from our stories and use it to help them fight the fears and stigmas they face.
Take a look at our ‘Meet the Team’ page to see our lived experiences. Some of our team are still working on their contribution. Enjoy!
Unity Dorset is excited to be working on their Employee Well-being pledge.
As a support provider for adults with mental health needs such as schizophrenia and psychosis, personality disorders, challenging behaviours and learning disabilities we know all too well the impact of mental health on individuals and how it affects everyone in different ways. Our support workers provide support in individuals hours of need, periods of crisis and general day to day battles with mental health needs but all too often we can forget the impact it has on the people supporting others through these challenges.
Why are we launching our Employee Well-being Pledge? Okay! well lets be honest, we have always shown an interest in our employees well-being however, it has probably not been as consistent and promoted within our company. Lets be even more honest! we have lost some amazing support workers who have struggled with their own mental health issues either from a direct result of supporting individuals with mental health needs or from their own personal problems away from work. We probably could have provided additional support at the time but focused more on the promotion of well-being of the people we support (something we will still continue to do as a support provider).
What have we done so far?
We have implemented an Employee Well-Being champion within Unity Dorset who will be responsible for planning well-being events, surveys, implementing MIND tools and employee engagement to name a few.
Become a ‘Time to Change’ champion and completed champion training modules through the ‘time to change’ movement http://www.time-to-change.org.uk
Registered to join the ‘time to change’ employers pledge
Downloaded time to change and MIND resources for our workplace.
What are we doing next?
An official launch of our Employee Well-being Pledge and review our mental health at work policy and procedures.
Organise 6 weekly well-being clinics for our support staff and inviting counsellors and other guest speakers to each clinic to offer qualified advice. The clinic is aimed to encourage our staff to talk about their own mental health needs and work on action plans on how we can support them through it.
This is an exciting movement for us and we hope that through our pledge we will be able to support our team through their own challenges. Big respect to our support workers!!!
As a mental health support provider we know all too well the importance of individual well-being and the stigma attached to mental health conditions. We are however, very lucky to have the experience working with individuals with schizophrenia, psychosis and personality disorders and have the privilege to help them overcome challenges in their lives.
We have seen however the impact a stigma of a mental health diagnosis has on individuals because of what is portrayed in the media. This can sometimes have a negative impact on individuals such as; causing isolation from the community or a further decline in their health and overall wellness.. Over the recent years there has been more movement and proactive campaigns to break the stigma given to mental health diagnosis and we want to join in with the movement and educate people on what it is actually like to have a diagnosis of schizophrenia, psychosis and personality disorders. Some of our service users are taking part in the ‘time to change’ campaign by writing a blog about their what it is like living with a mental health diagnosis.
We are very proud of the individuals we support with mental health needs because they battle each day with their diagnosis and public perception but still focus on achieving their outcomes and goals!