Mental Health Awareness Week: How to support a happy workforce


A new job is incredibly exciting, but also potentially stressful. As an employer currently experiencing huge growth in people starting their career with Astute, we are keenly aware of our responsibility with regards to promoting positive mental health in the workplace.

It’s a hotly discussed topic and it probably hasn’t escaped your notice that it’s Mental Health Awareness Week.  Although it’s a subject that should always be at the forefront of our minds, this week gives us a great opportunity to consider methods to help continue a positive mental attitude at work but also help deal with any stressful or anxious feelings. Especially if you are new to a job.

For those of you that already work in recruitment, or work in a sales-related role, you’ll know that it can be an incredibly demanding environment at times. For someone new to this industry, they are faced with not only starting a new role but also the daunting prospect of proving themselves via their sales ability.   Astute’s diverse and inclusive recruitment strategy results in our new recruits coming from a wide variety of backgrounds and we are happy to say that we probably don’t fall into your ‘typical recruiter’ category. Although everyone is driven and determined to be successful (supported by our in-depth training programme), it is inevitable that employees will have their own insecurities, off-days and worries.                                                                

This is what makes Mental Health Awareness so important.

Mental health affects how we think, feel and act and determines how we handle stress, relate to others and make choices. The stigma attached to the phrase mental health is beginning to lift as we realise that poor mental health doesn’t just affect the few. It can range from feeling a bit down through to more common disorders such as anxiety and depression.  Most people’s mental health won’t be continuously good. The most confident, high-achieving person may have a down day and need the support of friends and colleagues to pick themselves back up again.

Providing Support and Guidance in the workplace.

This is one of the reasons that we put together a comprehensive training package for all new starters at Astute, and we continue to have regular check-ins with staff throughout their employment with us. From day one, we want all employees to feel supported in their new roles and that they have the tools at hand to make their career successful. With an office culture built upon teamwork, our staff are encouraged to seek advice from colleagues and are assigned mentors to help them through what can be an overwhelming first couple of months. Business Support and Training  Manager Sam Bradshaw explains:

As part of our commitment to our staff and as people are the centre of our core values, we provide monthly one to one sessions to discuss mental wellbeing. Recruitment is a tough job so in order to ensure our teams get the most out of their working day we also offer free breakfast, free fruit and host walking and running clubs making everyone feel supported and encouraged to promote both physical and mental wellbeing.

But what about our more seasoned staff?

They are not forgotten about, and we continue to show our appreciation for the work they do throughout the year as well as supporting as many wellbeing activities as possible. During ‘Blue Monday’ in January this year, all the Managers at Astute wrote personal messages to their teams on fruit smoothies. Sometimes it's just the simple things to raise a smile, but we also are keen to remind staff that it is ok not to be ok and talking about your problems is key.

Left: Personalised Smoothies for Blue Monday

Our staff also take full advantage of the benefits offered by our location at Lakeside

As well as having a popular and beautiful walking route around the lake which is used all year round, Lakeside has been supporting Mental Health Awareness by running their own activities. From Mental Health First Aid Courses to yoga and fitness classes, Lakeside is committed to helping their occupiers commit to better physical and mental wellbeing.  

Right: Lakeside Campus

If you recognise the symptoms that your work is affecting your mental health,  talk to your employer, colleague, or friend about how you’re feeling. Alternatively, you could speak to Solent Mind for more information and advice.