Where We Work – Part 1 (Instrumental Health – A Mental Health Documentary Series)


[Music] Our mission is to remove the stigma around mental health within the workplace, but really, what we mean when we talk about this is that we want to normalize conversations around mental health throughout the workplace so that everybody can feel comfortable talking about their own mental health, asking questions about mental health, and know the skills and the approach that’s right for the workplace. Don’t you think, Maggi, in our work now, that often employers want to do something – Definitely – they just don’t know where to start or how to start because there’s a lot of uncertainty around what mental health actually is and where responsibility starts and ends. And I think we’re seeing that too. We’re seeing that organizations are truly wanting to make that change but just need guidance on what it is that they need to be doing. I think that’s right. Workplaces has come to us because they would like additional expertise around mental health but they would like that to work within their environment, so our approach is reflective of workplace environment, workplace language, workplace pressures, workplace policies, and we don’t adopt a one-size-fits-all approach. So if a particular workplace is set up remotely or it might be a global organization, then ways in which you facilitate conversations about noticing mental health are going to be very different than if you’re a small organization that works in the same office every day 9 to 5, so we really need to get as close to the organization as we can so that we can really work with an organization to affect change. We also find that when people have been through our workshops and have got some understanding of these real skills around having an open conversation that this extends way beyond the workplace for them, so that they can start to have more open conversations with their family, we friends, at home. They often come in wanting to go out with a tool kit, and they’re expecting that we might give them all the right things to say and all the right things to do, and the biggest part of the workshop is to encourage everybody to think about themselves as a tool kit, and that there is no right or wrong way to say something if you truly care about somebody and if you are genuine from the place that you’re coming from, then you are that tool kit. And I think that that’s often a surprise for participants, but they get it, they absolutely get it. And at the end of the day, it isn’t that they didn’t have the tools, it’s that possibly they didn’t have the courage. And so I think they go out with courage as well. So I think that one of the things that we hope is that when you come into our rooms, that we will be able to change your heart or your mind about something, and that’s what we experience.

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