As an employer, Aiimi takes the mental wellbeing of its staff very seriously. From day one, we make employees aware that their mental health is important and valued. We reference mental wellbeing in our benefits, our culture book, and at team meetings. We try to make it an everyday aspect of working at Aiimi.
CEO Steve Salvin regularly uses monthly team meetings and our yearly kick-off meeting to remind us the importance of our own mental wellbeing, and the wellbeing of people around us. He focusses on the stressors of everyday and working life and tells us what warning signs to look out for, as well as what we can do to find help. Not only are we then offered pastoral care within the company, we are encouraged to seek extra support outside of work, with Aiimi promising to fund coaching and counselling for those who need it.
Here are two stories from Aiimi employees and their journey of mental wellbeing within the company:
I joined Aiimi in January 2017 and, in the April, suffered a bereavement. The call came as I was walking to the office. I was overwhelmed, but I carried on to work, not really knowing what else to do. When I arrived, I spoke to a senior colleague who offered me comfort and care, exactly what I needed in that moment.
It was the days that followed that made all the difference to me.
When I joined Aiimi, I was told how important my mental wellbeing was and, having trained as a Mental Health Nurse, this was great to hear. Many companies say they take mental health seriously without it being true, but Aiimi delivered on their promises. I was offered time off work and counselling sessions paid for by the company.
Most importantly, the senior management team always had time for me. They listened when I needed to talk. They told me about their own experiences. They made me feel like my experience was not unusual. That was when I decided to take the offer of bereavement counselling – and I am so glad I did. It gave me the tools I needed to deal with what had happened, and to overcome the stresses that come with bereavement. Despite only being with the company for a short time, I was treated like one of the Aiimi family, and for that I will always be truly grateful.
I joined Aiimi in September 2017 as a recent graduate. Although I was well adjusted to dealing with the pressures of University life, I had no idea what to expect from the working world. It can be a daunting landscape to navigate and I soon learned how easily you can find yourself overwhelmed. This made me realise just how important it is to have a strong support network around you, and luckily for me this included my new colleagues at Aiimi.
One thing that really struck me with Aiimi was just how welcoming and accommodating everyone was. I was quite shocked at first, as my experiences completely went against my apprehensions. Right from day one it was clear to me that the team ethos was what glued this company together. The culture at Aiimi is one that you couldn’t fabricate. The best thing is that there’s always something new and exciting to get stuck in to. Joining our CSR committee has helped me get involved in a variety of activities that make use of my skills outside of the office. I still can’t quite believe how lucky I am to have landed in an environment that adequately challenges, respects and supports me in everything I do.
The future of mental wellbeing at Aiimi
Aiimi is already on the way to ensuring the mental and emotional wellbeing of our employees is at the forefront of everything we do. Our goal is to educate our staff so that they seek help before their mental health starts to negatively impact their lives. We try to work with people on an individual basis to remove the stressors that lead to much more serious problems such as depression.
However, there is always more that can be done, and we continue to take steps to ensure our staff know where to turn in their hour of need. We will continue to promote the care that is available, to look after our own and each other’s mental wellbeing, and to listen to our employees on how we can improve in this area.
What is Mental Health Awareness Week?
Mental Health Awareness Week, in association with the Mental Health Foundation, has been going since 2001 and takes place in 2018 between 14-20th May. The focus this year is on stress, what we can do to manage it and how we can reduce the stressors in our lives. Stress has become a part of everyday life for many people, and a report by the MHF detailed how it can contribute to depression, anxiety, self-harm and in extreme circumstances, suicide. 74% of people polled for the report said that they had felt stressed to the point of being overwhelmed and unable to cope in the last year alone, demonstrating why it is so important – especially this year – that employers ensure the mental wellbeing of their staff.
The future of mental wellbeing at Aiimi is a continuous journey, one that we will take together, one day at a time. Thanks for reading!