“DID YOU KNOW?
If you text 07725 909090 when you are feeling really depressed, down or not yourself, a listening volunteer will text you back and chat with you.
Many people don't like talking on the phone and some find it even difficult to open up to their friends and family. Some people are just more comfortable texting.
So, this is a service run by The Samaritans. Please copy, paste, share or pass on if you want to.
You never know who might be needing it...”
I originally posted this on my own personal social media, and it got more attention than I had thought it would. It clearly struck a chord with a lot of people, and made me stop to think about the importance of our mental health and how relevant it is to our lifestyles today.
This service and its capabilities is something that the Samaritans have been fine-tuning. However there is no denying the importance of this service, and what it means to people in my network – people who are in work, and who have families, friends, or at the very least colleagues, who might be surprised to hear that they ever feel depressed or down.
We have relatively recently come out of a recession, (you might have heard about it!) which put most of us under more pressure and financial strain than is perhaps manageable. Although figures have stabilised, between 2006 and 2014 it was reported that over 290,000 homes were repossessed in the UK. More and more of us are living on our own or are elderly, are single parents or maybe have partners who work long hours or away from home.
A poll of 1,166 mothers by Mumsnet recently confirmed 63% said loneliness was a problem for them, admitting to feeling isolated since becoming a parent. Of course some have no support network at all - sadly, as reported recently by The Guardian, homelessness is expected to double in the UK by 2041. Almost half of the UK’s homeless population is confirmed as having a mental health issue, which suggests a much bigger problem.
Most of us might be lucky enough to have friends and families who make sure we aren’t struggling, but employers also have a duty of care with regards to health and wellbeing. I have found that few take it as seriously as Novosco. This starts with a robust recruitment process; recruiting the right person into the right role and making sure that they are set up for success.
Flexible working and being able to work from home can be a huge benefit and you are encouraged to take some of your additional ‘personal time’ to make all of those necessary check-ups. Healthy breakfast is provided with daily fruit deliveries, alongside the onsite gym which helps you form good habits. With a world class team around you there is a support network that keeps stress levels to a minimum, however if you have had a tough week, you can book in to an acupressure massage session on a Friday. If you are really lucky your Manager, as mine did, will sign you up (reluctantly) for your first ever 5k run, and before you know it you will be planning a 10k and lost a dress size.
All of these things allow us to enjoy our free time to the fullest, and have happier, healthier relationships outside of work. Buzzwords continue to be communicated by companies over social media about health and wellbeing, but few put it into practice. I have seen first-hand how treating employees well breeds fierce loyalty and ultimately maximises productivity levels.
When I originally shared The Samaritans post on my personal social media, it got such a high level of attention because it affects us, and those around us. Whether you’re acting as an employer, like Novosco, and taking every possible step to safeguard your colleague’s health and wellbeing, or whether it’s just you – supporting the friends and family around you – we can make a difference.
It isn’t all about fresh fruit and acupressure, maybe receiving that text is enough to change the course of someone’s day.
Bronagh Hughes is an Internal Recruiter with Novosco