Mental Health & Wellbeing – We do ‘wellness’… But do we?

This blog is a contribution to Rachel Hodgson’s (HR Consultant) ‘Mental Health and Wellbeing‘ series which documents the reality of mental health conditions and how we should ALL be focusing on prevention to provide a lasting change:

My focus this month is on inclusion of mental health in overall wellness programmes to support the effort on focusing on prevention which is key to providing a lasting change.

Mental Health and WellbeingMental Health and Wellbeing Statistics

We covered the general statistics in January and I like to refer you to them each month as a reminder at how bad the situation is and to support my views about why we need to do something, to start a conversation and to be an agent of change.

We all know that knowledge alone is not going to make the changes and it is easy to get overwhelmed and be unsure of where to start. 

Did you know that according to SAS, employees spend approximately 54% of their total waking hours at work? This makes the workplace an ideal place to provide people with the knowledge and skills needed to help improve attitudes and behaviours concerning mental health and wellbeing.


As an HR Business Partner I am familiar with the feedback from businesses informing me that they ‘do wellness’. That’s great news! So what exactly is it that you ‘do’? Most of the replies will be along the lines that there is a monetary allowance for gym membership, that on-site flu shots are provided each year and that they have a person in each month for in-chair massage. Sorry to burst the wellness bubble but I’m not sure that’s really ‘doing wellness’.

How are you supporting mental health at work, how are you supporting mental health at home and beyond?

Does your Wellness Programme include mental health related handouts and materials?

What is Wellness?

Wellness is about making lifestyle choices to be healthier, happier and more productive.

Research shows, and experience has proved to me, that people who struggle with mental health issues are less likely to be receptive or to participate in a wellness programme. Mental health is overwhelmingly important to a successful wellness programme.

There are multiple scientific studies indicating the positive return-on-investment for workplace wellness programs.

Call to Action 

  • Review what is it that your Wellness Programme is aiming to achieve
  • Does your Wellness Programme support mental health?
  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of your Wellness Programme 
  • Develop an action plan to implement a Wellness Programme or improve an existing programme 

Mental Health Awareness Week 2017

8-14 May 2017 Theme – ‘surviving or thriving?’

Mental Health Awareness week is coming up in May so a potential opportunity to introduce a programme of work for those wanting to use this as a springboard. The theme is ‘surviving or thriving’ which aims to outline practical steps we can take to build a mentally healthy country and help prompt a national conversation about what we can do to move from surviving to thriving. Click here for more information.

Rachel Hodgson

Written by , HR Consultant

Rachel’s background is in corporate HR in the permanent and contractor market supporting as an HR Business Partner in different industries and cultures predominately during rapid growth and transformation. Her experience working with a diverse workforce has enabled her to successfully support the business as an HRBP and as a subject matter expert at both individual contributor and people manager level. Most recently Rachel has taken time out to focus on Health and Wellness for personal development and to help others. This is an area of great interest and with the increase in focus on creating awareness of mental health issues she has built her knowledge to give her the ability to provide tangible advice. Advice on the benefits of good nutrition and regular exercise as well as practical methods to cope with stress. By sharing her own experience of her fitness transformation within her challenge groups the benefit to others has been more impactful and authentic. Rachel’s professional purpose is to work with organisations that are forward thinking and embraces a people agenda in-line with the business objective. She works hard to ensure that her role is valued and worthy of the effort that she puts in and contributes to the overall success of the organisation. By combining her interest in Health & Wellness with her HR experience her goal is to raise awareness of the current Mental Health challenges in the UK by providing practical thought provoking documentary on this subject matter.

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