It’s Mental Health Awareness Week, and this year’s theme is ‘loneliness’. Loneliness can strike at any time, and can affect anyone – even people who seem perfectly happy on the surface could be feeling isolated, depressed and alone, even in the middle of a crowd.
The last two years in particular have shone a light on loneliness, with so many of us left completely isolated for the duration of COVID lockdowns, the impact on people off all ages has been profound. Mental health issues are rightfully receiving more attention than ever before, but loneliness can be particularly insidious – most people have felt alone at one point or another, and for many it passess quickly. For others though, it can be a deep and lasting feeling of complete isolation.
It’s all too easy for us to hide these feelings from those around us – an act driven by loneliness itself. It’s hard to talk about something with someone when you feel so alone, we often don’t think people will understand, or care, or perhaps we simply don’t want to burden another with what we perceive to be a personal issue.
Mental Health First Aid Team
We take mental health very seriously at NextGEN360, and we strive to uphold a culture where our colleagues at all levels of the business feel they have somewhere to turn if they need to talk, or is they are suffering. Sometimes just talking through a problem can lighten the load, and we aim to give each staff member that opportunity should they ever need it.
Employee wellbeing forms one of the core E’s of our Social Responsibility Policy. As such we’re always looking to expand the ways we care for our staff. At the forefront of this are our Mental Health First Aiders – these caring colleagues have volunteered for special training to give them the tools they need to support any troubled team member through a tough time, even if that just means being there to listen. They are always on hand to offer counselling whenever requested, but also keep an eye out for those that may be struggling in silence, so as to always ensure our team has the support it needs to remain healthy and happy.
Janine is Head of Marketing and E-Commerce here at NextGEN. That means she has plenty of duties keeping her busy every day! When duty calls however and someone needs support, Janine takes off her leadership cap and takes on the mantle of Mental Health First Aider. She’s always on hand to lend an ear or offer some sage advice to anyone who needs it!
Ian is our NextGEN360 Head of Digital, he’s got plenty of technical skills that help keep our digital operations in top shape – but he’s also got the skills to help guide and support people through personal challenges too! He’s a kind and welcoming presence for any of our team members seeking council, and won’t hesitate to take time out of his own busy days to ensure our people get the support they need to get a smile back on their face.
Alan is all about keeping people safe and happy here at NextGEN – as our Health and Safety Manager, he makes sure our staff can operate with safety and security. He has doubled-down on his commitment to the wellbeing of our teams here however by becoming our third Mental Health First Aider. Alan’s door is always open to anyone who wants to talk when times are tough.