How did we get to February so quickly? I feel like I have been in a whirlwind of festivities, new business, planning, planning and more planning as well as keeping my brilliant tweenager in check with all things school and dancing.
I took some time out this weekend and headed to the coast with friends. When I say ‘time out’ we actually dashed over to the ever changing (but not quite changing) Barry Island to take in some arcades and ice cream. Though the weather was quite…bracing, it was lovely to let off some steam and enjoy seeing my own daughter enjoying all the carefree brilliance a seaside resort has to offer young people.
It made me think about the pressures we face daily in our lives. From making budgets stretch and creating a loving environment for our family to everything we deliver in our jobs – including safeguarding the mental health of our own staff.
Working within the social care sector, be it in a recruitment role or in service delivery is not without its challenges. Of course it can be one of the most rewarding careers you could wish to embark upon. Helping individuals to climb mountains we see as daily occurrences, signposting staff into roles that make them shine from the inside out – it makes us proud.
However, we are always aware of our duties to the pastoral care of the people within our team. I have always taken an interest in wellbeing, in ensuring that my team and I have the opportunity to ‘offload’ when a day has been heavy. Last month our Group HR Manager attended a mental health training course in the interests of equipping all of our management team with an awareness of such a hot topic.
I am excited to reap the rewards of her learning – being able to support our staff in managing their own mental health, in opening up dialogue and being able to talk refreshingly about issues that impact so many. In 2015/16 around 11 million work days were lost to stress, anxiety and depression*. That is HUGE – but whilst we send our well wishes for a bout of flu or the latest round of the norovirus, we still experience managers who shy away from mental health illness.
New Directions is very much an innovator as a recruitment firm in terms of how we support our staff. In an industry ruled by targets and key performance indicators, we are moving forward at a rapid pace in our approach to supporting the impact of these pressures. I am proud to be a part of this movement, for my team, for our supply staff and for my own sanity as a single parent to an increasing effervescent brilliant young lady.