Working toward better mental health and wellbeing
by Sarah Mayo, Co-Founder, POINT3 Wellbeing

Sarah joins the Community to discuss the importance of a robust mental health and wellbeing strategy in the workplace.

25th March 2022 Read time: 5 minutes Watch time: 44 minutes

There has never been a more crucial time to talk about mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. POINT3 Wellbeing report that 1 in 4 suffers from mental ill-health every year; a trend developed before COVID-19. With the ongoing crises developing at home and abroad, many feel the effects of it all on their mental health and wellbeing.

Sarah Mayo is the Co-Founder of POINT3 Wellbeing, an impact-led employee wellbeing agency that focuses on the mental health and wellbeing of people in the workplace. She has 20 years of both in-house and agency-side marketing experience.

Sarah knows the need for a shift in mindset in the mental health and wellbeing space within organisations. She joined the What’s Possible Community sessions to discuss the importance of a robust mental health and wellbeing strategy in workplaces.

Realising a need for wellbeing

In 2018, Sarah and her two running mates (Nicky and Siôn) realised that they were experiencing burnout in their careers.

I did find myself on the edge of burnout a number of times, and I probably actually didn’t recognise it in myself at the time. Looking back, I can see the symptoms. The statistics also support this; people suffering from stress or mental ill-health often don’t even realise it themselves,” Sarah explained.

She further pointed to Gallup’s Global Emotions Report, which reveals that stress levels have gradually increased over the last ten years. The World Health Organization named stress the health epidemic of the 21st century back in 2016.

The three founders decided they wanted to do something about this and build something that provided support to workers. They set out with a purpose: to help people in the workplace to stress less and smile more.

POINT3 Wellbeing was born.

Driving a mental health and wellbeing culture

Mental health impacts how we think, feel, and behave. It’s really important to support the mental health of your people,” Sarah says.

POINT3 Wellbeing plugs into organisations and helps them build a mental health and wellbeing strategy. They also provided training and experiences to help organisations emphasise the importance of mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.

Sarah offers some advice for organisations with little to no experience implementing mental health and well-being strategies.

My key advice here would be to start small and be consistent, reliable and true to your company culture – and be authentic with whatever you end up doing”.

Sarah outlined a step-for-step process that employers could use to implement meaningful mental health and wellbeing initiatives in their business. Importantly, it begins with the employee in mind:

  • Survey your employee. Listen to their needs.
  • Learn from their responses
  • Assess any gaps you may have.
  • Create priorities; introduce them into a plan, policy or programme
  • Implement your strategy.
  • Measure the success against your original objectives.
  • Repeat.

The ripple effects of change or introducing new initiatives do take time, and it relies on the consistent drumbeat of ongoing communications and consistent behaviours, especially from key cohorts or groups in an organisation. That’s what helps really drive a culture,” she said.

Ambassadors for mental health and wellbeing

Employers should create a psychologically safe culture where people feel comfortable to be themselves and then thrive, Sarah says. She also encourages a collaborative approach internally to ensure no one is left behind. Three groups can take ownership of the mental health and wellbeing strategy and ensure that implementation goes smoothly:

  • Leadership needs to lead by example.
  • Managers need to model the right behaviours and equip employees with the tools to manage their mental health and wellbeing.
  • People power: Having a group of ambassadors, mental health first aiders or champions internally encouraging employees to look after their mental health.

Well implemented mental health and wellbeing initiatives, POINT3 Wellbeing argues, will create the most resilient and compassionate workforces possible. They believe positive and sustainable action will lead to positive change and bring down workers’ stress levels in what is an uncertain, unprecedented time.