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Bring your whole self to work, It’s good for mental wellbeing and good for business.

Edu-c8 are getting ready to support Mental Health First Aid England’s (MHFA) new campaign “My Whole Self Day” on 18th March. Bring your whole self to work, It’s good for mental wellbeing and good for business.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England has launched the My Whole Self toolkit, the digital centrepiece of its new campaign for workplace culture change.

My Whole Self is calling on organisations to empower people to bring their ‘whole self’ to work because it’s better for mental wellbeing and better for business. This new campaign calls on companies and places of work to encourage their team members to bring their whole selves to work and is being celebrated later this month.

One of Google’s most recent studies has shown that ‘psychological safety’ is one of the most important factors for high performing, excelling teams.

“In 2020, it isn’t possible – or desirable – to try to fit ourselves into a one-size-fits-all work-shaped suit, or be expected to leave part of ourselves at the door when we get to work. “Empowering people to be their authentic self isn’t just the right thing to do, it also makes good business sense. Being our whole self at work enables improved performance, boosting creativity and innovation. It builds psychological safety, deeper connections – and research shows these are a key ingredient in every successful team.”

Simon Blake, Chief Executive, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England

So how can you help your team to feel more supported?

Investing in Mental Health First Aiders at work is one positive step.

MHFA is an internationally recognised training course which teaches managers and staff how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and provide support , reassurance, and guide people to the help they may need on a first aid basis. MHFA won’t teach you to be a therapist, but just like physical first aid, it will teach you to listen, reassure and respond, even in a crisis.

Mental health issues cost businesses huge amounts every year, find out more about the cost to business here.

If you want to get your business involved in MHFA England’s campaign “My Whole Self Day” download the My Whole Self toolkit, MHFA have some great resources available on their website, including social media banners, posters to print out and activities to run across your business: 

If you’d like to get more involved in supporting others’ mental health, get in touch to find out more about our open courses and in-house training courses for your business, please contact or call 0330 333 9244.


World Mental Health Day activities for the workplace

What is World Mental Health Day?

World Mental Health Day is an opportunity for all of us to raise awareness of mental health issues and reduce the social stigma it can have.

The day provides an opportunity for you and your organisation to add to the wider conversation that will be occurring on social media, television and elsewhere. Highlight the fantastic work you’re already doing to address mental health stigma in the workplace, and introduce new and targeted activities anchored to the event.

1. Secret Wellbeing Santa

This idea is the same as  Secret Santa apart from the gifts you buy are to enhance the recipients wellbeing.   
The basic concept of the Secret Wellbeing Santa game is simple. All of the participants’ names are placed into a hat, box, etc. and mixed up. Each person then chooses one name from the box, but doesn’t tell anyone which name was picked.  Everyone then goes away and buys their wellbeing gifts within a set budget, usually about £5.  Each gift is marked with the name of the recipient, but not the gift-giver.

All the gifts are then placed in a general area for opening at a designated time on World Mental health Day. 

2. Wellbeing Breakfast

To celebrate World Mental Health Day hold a healthy Wellbeing  breakfast with fresh fruit, granola, chia pots and other healthy treats.

Encouraging people to talk about mental health. Starting a conversation can be a powerful way to challenge mental health stigma
and get people to think about their perceptions. For all of us, our mental health is just as important as our physical health. Talking helps us all recognise this and can dispel misconceptions about mental health problems and the people who
experience them.

3. Mental health pub quiz

To raise awareness and start conversations in the office about mental health have a Mental Health ‘pub’ quiz.

Find out how much your colleagues know about mental health and challenge misconceptions and learn the real facts about mental health.

Attached are some quiz questions and Facts and Myths from the Time to Talk website. 

4. Lunchtime Craftercise

Get the Sharpies Felt tip pens out of the stationary cupboard, download our colouring sheet and hold a relaxing ‘Craftercise’ lunchtime session. 

‘Craftercise’ is designed to help your team to bond. Participating in a creative activity that is not directly related to work helps to design a space where people can relate on a new level.

Doing an activity together away from workspace allows people to get to know one another, bond, chat and builds trust.

Building trust amongst colleagues is important in enabling mental health related conversations.

Having Mental Health First Aiders is the workplace is great opportunity to rise awareness and get people talking about mental health. 

To find out more about our MHFA training. Click here

Edu-c8 members Hub

Edu-c8’s Member Hub

Edu-c8's Support and Resources Hub

We are excited to introduce our new Mental Health First Aid -Support and Resources Members Hub

We believe to supporting MHFAiders in supporting others is key to help achieve an effective and sustainable impact in mental health and wellbeing at work and in the community.

All MHFA delegate trained by Edu-c8 will be invited to join our new free members only online support and resources hub which includes:

Email Support

Confidential email support from qualified MHFAiders.


Free resources, information and materials to help you in your role as a Mental Health First Aider.

Implementing MHFA

Advise and resources to implement the MHFA Training thought out your whole organisation.

Promotion Materials

Materials for you to promote about mental health and wellbeing and your role as a MHFAider.


Newsletters to keep you up to date with MHFA England and general mental health and wellbeing news.

Local Helplines

Links to and information about local support groups and helpline in your area.

If you are a Mental health First Aider trained by Edu-c8 please contact us to join the group. 


Beat the January Blues

R.E.D JAUNARY is a movement helping to raise awareness and support for mental health, through the power of exercise.
In partnership with the charity Mind it also encourages people to raise money for the charity as well as raising the awareness of mental health issues and promote the positive impact that exercise can have on wellbeing.

What is RED January?

Originally the RED stands Run Every Day but now it is more inclusive to encourage people of all ages to get more active in January. There are no rules and no judgements you can do any exercise and how far you want.

The emphasis is on any exercise and to celebrate every achievement, no matter how large or small.

RED January can provide you with a goal and a focus in a characteristically tough month, empowering you to start the year as you mean to go on.

Why January?

Dark nights, freezing cold, ice, snow, bitter wind and muddy puddles.
While you are tying up your laces and looking for your glove sand bobble hat the question you often ask yourself. Why January!??

Firstly, After the expense of Christmas…its free to take part.
Secondly, It is a great way to start the year!  Each tick on your chart adding a days activity is empowering.
Great community spirt. Facebook groups encouragement is amazing, also a place for people to share how they are feeling.
A good focus to get thought what can be for some a tough month.
It is forming healthy habits to continue throughout the year.

87% of REDers felt significantly better physically and mentally after completing RED January 2018*

*according to the post RED January 2018 survey.
Team Donkin

In 2018 We have a team of 16 family members from the age of 10 to late seventies, running, walking and cycling in the UK and Australia. We raised £1225. We also had great fun encouraging each other and posting photos mainly looking cold and muddy!

I ran into work most days, and so many people asked why I was running.  It was definitely a good way to bring mental health awareness to the workplace and start the conversation.

It’s a great way to start the year, but it can be tough some days to find the time or motivation. January seemed a VERY LONG month!


Top employers press Government on Mental Health

Where’s Your Head At is a campaign which will improve the mental health of the nation by ensuring employers look after the wellbeing of their workforce.

The campaign is to change work place law so that employees have their mental health equality safeguarded as they do their physical health. The campaign is asking the government to make it compulsory for workers to have colleagues trained in Mental health support and awareness.


Where's Your Head At?
Who Supports Where’s Your Head At?

‘Where’s Your Head At?’ founded by Natasha Devon MBE, MHFA England and Bauer Media, and has received cross-party backing.
On 8th October 2018 to mark mental health awareness day a petition with over 200,000 public signatures to was presented to Downing Street.

A specially-commissioned study by Bauer showed that half of employees who have taken time off work for a mental health issue told their boss it was for a different reason.

Where’s Your Head At Open Later

On November 18th an Open Letter from by industry leaders from across business, including Lord Sugar and bosses from Thames Water and Ford of Britain was deliver to downing street.
To read the letter

At the last general election, the Conservatives said they would amend health and safety rules so employers would have to treat mental health the same way they treat physical health, the letter is asking Theresa May to asking her to prioritise this pledge.

Evidence also shows that the earlier a mental health issue -- like stress, anxiety or depression -- is detected the easier it is to manage and treat.

One in six people of working age will experience mental ill health including depression, anxiety or issues relating to stress. Mental health issues are also estimated to cost the UK economy almost £35 billion every year and 15.4 million working days are lost to work-related stress, depression or anxiety. 

The companies behind the letter contend the change in the law would help break the stigma of mental illness at work and make it easier for staff to talk about your mental health at work and ensure staff are supported correctly.

For more information about mental health in the workplace


Are you OK? As Twice

Time to Change is a growing social movement working to change the way we all think and act about mental health problems, it is organised by Rethink Mental Illness and Mind.


Along with the popular campaign Ask Twice there is an annual Time to Talk Day in February bringing the message to peoples forefront.

Time to Change objective are to end the stigma and discrimination and improve public attitudes and behaviour towards experienced by people with mental health problems. Help people with mental health problems suffering from discrimination and show them how to take action and to challenge stigma.

Ask Twice Campaign
If your mate's acting differently, #AskTwice

‘We all hear it dozens of times a day, “How are you?”, “Fine thanks, how are you?” ‘Our research shows that, as a nation, we find it hard to answer honestly. ‘This could mean someone close to you is struggling with their mental health – they might just be waiting for your cue to talk about it. ‘Asking twice is a simple, effective way to show our friends and family members that we are asking for real; that we are ready to listen, whether that’s now or whenever they’re ready.”

Jo Loughran, director of Time to Change

Statistically, 1 in 4 of us will fight a mental health problem in any given year. No one should have to fear being treated differently because of a mental health problem.

On #WorldMentalHealthDay, Ask Twice
Time to Change tips on how to help a friend who opens up 

1. Take it seriously 

Opening up about how you really feel can be embarrassing so don’t laugh or act like it’s a joke. Listen to everything they have to say. It can feel embarrassing and exposing to talk about your thoughts and feelings, especially if they’re disturbing. Don’t laugh or treat it like a joke. However strange it might seem to you, remember it’s real to them. 

2. Listen and reflect 

You don’t have to have all the answers – just listening can make a big difference. Try to show that you’re taking on board what they’re saying. You can do this by reflecting – that is, saying something simple like ‘that sounds really difficult’. You could also say something like ‘thanks for telling me’, to show that you appreciate having the conversation. 

3. Ask questions 

We worry about prying when it comes to others’ mental health, but it’s better to ask questions. Some of the questions you might ask: ‘What does it feel like?’ ‘What kind of thoughts are you having?’ ‘How can I help?’ 

4. Don’t try to fix it 

It’s human nature to want to fix things, but expecting things to change right away isn’t helpful. It’s not your job to make their mental health problem go away – it’s often more helpful just to listen, ask open questions and do things you’d normally do together. 

5. Build your knowledge 

You might find it helpful to learn a bit more about what they’re going through. If they mention a specific diagnosis, you could learn more about it and read personal stories by people who have experienced similar things. You might want to learn about the professional help that’s available to them and suggest that they explore those options.

Get Involved

There are many way to get involved, at work, schools or in the wider community.
Become time to change champion or arrange local hub


Report finds ‘presenteeism’ has more than tripled since 2010

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) in partnership Simplyhealth have produced a new Health and well-being at work Report.

Below are the key finding and some shocking results to the survey.

The report finds that ‘presenteeism’ (or people coming in to work sick) has more than tripled since 2010. We also found that 69% of respondents reported that ‘leaveism’ (or people using assigned time off in order to get work done) has occurred in their organisation in the last 12 months. Despite these alarming findings, only a minority of organisations are taking steps to challenge these unhealthy working behaviours.

CIPD/Simplyhealth: Health and Well-being at Work survey 2018

For more information about Wellbeing at work from CIPD