We thought we’d take a pause on writing blogs about queueing and restaurants to focus our attention this week on something super important: Mental Health Awareness Week.
Mental health is something we should all take seriously, but as a small start up of 7 who are always trying to stay focused on our North Star of ‘does it seat more guests?’ it can be all too easy to forget important social topics like mental health 🧠
Being such a small team actually presents us with a unique opportunity to be in a better position to have personal conversations, so when we knew it was Mental Health Awareness Week, we knew it would be a shame to not take advantage of our size to chat about an important issue. Especially as the world is a little upside down right now with COVID-19.
🌤 In the spirit of being open, mental health is something we’ve never sat down and spoken about as a team, and doing something you’ve never done before can feel a little daunting and maybe even a little awkward 🐢 We want to encourage every WalkInite to talk about their mental health (if they want to) and to know that we see it as important as your physical health, so in order to do that we need to start talking about it.
Initially we thought about sitting down (on Google Hangout of course), and having a big ol’ chat on the subject, maybe sharing stories, personal experiences and anecdotes 💬 We hoped that by having our first conversation about mental health we’d communicate that it’s good to talk about how we’re feeling, to encourage each other to check in on our friends and contribute to a culture where you feel comfortable being yourself 🌼 However, after speaking with one of our WalkInites dear friends who is a psychotherapist and super empathic whizz, she suggested that organising a talk and announcing “okay guys we’re gonna have a chat on mental health now” makes the subject stick out, a little bit like a sore thumb 👎 Our friend suggested that a good approach might be in every Monday and Thursday meeting (when we have our team meetings) before chatting about work, spend the time to find out how everyone’s feeling, not just how their weekend was. That way, if someone isn’t feeling great they have an opportunity to share it, if they chose. No pressure, no expectations for commentary, just to let everyone know and to normalise talking about mental health 🌱
So that’s our plan from right now, we’re excited to be doing something which supports each other and frankly, something we should have done a long time ago.
💌 There's always room for improvement, if you have any comments or ideas you think might help us, please shoot us an email at [email protected] as we’d love to hear from you!
Since 2001, the Mental Health Foundation has been raising awareness on different topics, including body image, stress and relationships. This week from May 18th to May 24th they’ve very appropriately chosen kindness.
If you check out their website, they reflect on 2008 and how it was the most vulnerable communities who experienced the severest consequences of austerity, with devastating effects on their mental and physical health. They note that we must not make the same mistakes after this pandemic.
We’ll be using the hashtags #MentalHealthAwareness and #KindnessMatters this week to show support to the Mental Health Foundation and to connect to anyone online who may also be raising awareness on social media. To finish this blog we’d like to share a video that the Mental Health Foundation created.
Love, the WalkIn team 💙