This week is Mental Health Awareness Week promoted by the Mental Health Foundation, with the theme being kindness.
I totally agree with the Mental Health Foundation that mental health is everyone’s business as it can affect anyone at any time.
The pandemic has made us all more aware of those people around us who perhaps need a little more support and kindness, be they family, friends, neighbours, work colleagues and of course the army of essential workers who have worked tirelessly to keep our lives as normal as possible.
Following the 2008 credit crunch it was that the most vulnerable in society who experienced the severest consequences of austerity, with devastating effects on their mental and physical health. However, this time so far at least, it seems different, as if we are all in it together and we can only come through it by making sure no one gets left behind or goes without help and support.
One of the real positives to take from the pandemic and lockdown is the way in which the whole Staffordshire business community slipped seamlessly into support mode from day one.
The Government’s response to ease financial anxiety was swift with the Jobs Retention Scheme, self-employed grants, and a raft of loan options.
At the same time business was swift to react with manufacturers switching production to making vital medical and PPE equipment. Many businesses and organisations also moved to aid charities and to distribute food to the vulnerable.
I have been really heartened how many businesses and self-employed workers are taking it upon themselves to help each other out through social media groups and virtual networking. Acting inclusively to make sure everyone is keeping their narrative going and is ready to do business post-lockdown.
Similarly, at the Chamber we moved our entire operation online in a matter of days offering daily support in the form of daily webinars, additional mentoring, helpline support and advice on finance, employment law, marketing, exporting, skills, etc., as well as offering online networking and sector forums.
This new consideration and kindness and sense of looking out for each other, as well as ourselves, could transform our places of work and communities, tipping the balance in favour of good mental health for all.
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For any business enquiries you can call our switchboard on 01782 202222 or call the Stoke and Staffs Growth Hub Helpline on 0300 111 8002. We also have a weekday daily Twitter hour from 11am – 12noon #StaffsChamberChat