Account manager Janice Fitzgerald shares her top tips on how to communicate and be an advocate for mental health in your organisation.
Get line managers involved
Mental health promotion isn’t an activity, it’s a culture and one that often starts at the top. Behaviour breeds behaviour and line managers have a huge role to play in that. Seize the opportunity and look at aligning your comms strategy with HR. Together you could drive a campaign that focuses on ensuring line managers are equipped with the knowledge and the tools to support mental health.
Communication is as much about hearing as it is sending a message, if not more so. If you don’t hear what people are saying, your message will never be truly effective. Get a member of your team or someone on your employee forum involved and practise planned stakeholder management across all levels. Make the most of those catch ups to check in on culture as well as business activity.
Use your voice
It’s one thing to have a campaign that supports mental health, but does your organisation run activity to back it? Is there a safe place for employees to talk, do teams actually live the work-life balance promoted? It’s very rare to meet a comms lead who doesn’t have access to an audience at every level. When planning mental health comms, challenge the gaps that jump out to you and use your knowledge to suggest improvements.
Finally, it’s more than one day
The focus on mental health should be more than one day, one yoga class or one activity [the picture accompanying this blog is part of a wider campaign run by Transport for London]. Mental health advocacy is a mindset that should filter through all activity and organisational messaging. It’s important to think about how your comms strategy can support this all year round.
To find out more about how AB can help with your comms strategy, contact Janice Fitzgerald
This article was first published on World Mental Health Day 2018.