Week-by-week calendar of ideas for Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health

It’s no secret that mental health has become increasingly prioritized in the workplace – especially post-Covid. Employers with a distributed, hybrid, and/or remote team especially feel the unique impact on mental health when colleagues do not spend as much time together face-to-face. 


Now is the time to address any bubbling issues, since May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It started in the late-40s and has evolved greatly with people sharing their personal stories on social media to reduce the stigma and with people, particularly Gen-Z, taking their mental health at work into their own hands – hoards have voluntarily left unhealthy workplaces. Younger workers have proven to be a socially conscious group and are more active about causes than those who came before them. We’re all dealing with new circumstances after the pandemic, like remote work – which has employees feeling burned out with increased meetings and the line between work and personal lives blurred.  


This month was created to educate people about mental illness, reduce stigma, and raise awareness around research and treatment. People often suffer in silence because of stigmas surrounding mental health. Poor mental health can negatively impact all aspects of our lives, including our work lives. 


Do more this May than just post and share a generic acknowledgment on your social media accounts and via email. Get to the root of any mental health issues in your organization and do your best to resolve them. We’re sharing our tips and week-by-week calendar of ideas. 


Week one: Share a note with your team


Leverage Cleary to send your internal communications with a News post about Mental Health Awareness Month. Explain what it is and how your organization can specifically help. Are there programs people can take advantage of? Are there resources the company offers? Explain how employees can easily look up vacation and sick time and explain how the policies work. With Cleary you can use Pages as a source of truth and link directly to the Page where the information is stored for reference. 


Use our template as a starting point for a News post:

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental health is a critical aspect of someone’s overall well-being and can easily be overlooked. We are taking this month to promote a better understanding around mental health, breakdown stigmas, and encourage anyone who needs help to seek it. 


The Covid-19 pandemic brought mental health to the forefront after exasperating anxiety, isolation, and financial and emotional stress for many people. The ripple effects of the pandemic continue to be felt today, in homes and at work. 


We want to take this month and the opportunity to promote mental health awareness and create a more supportive and compassionate workplace for all our employees and staff. 


Ways to boost well-being: 

  • Schedule time for yourself. This can be a time to unplug and reflect – distraction-free
  • Remember our vacation policy is here for you. Here’s a link on vacation and sick policies for reference.
  • Take walks, it’s physically and mentally good for you. Bonus if the walk is outdoors! 


Please do not hesitate to talk to your managers about any mental health issues you are experiencing and how we can help to alleviate the situation and support you. 


Week two: Anonymous AMA


Create an anonymous ask me anything Event on the Cleary platform around mental health. Give employees the option of posting anonymously so people can feel comfortable and safe sharing their feelings and experiences. Ensure this is a safe place where all responses are welcomed. This will also be a useful resource for people who are too shy to post but could find comfort knowing they are not alone in some of their feelings. 


Another option is a company-wide survey. This can garner more tailored responses. You can ask about specific ways the company is lacking in its mental health awareness or what it is doing well. Like, “explain any ways you feel the company excels at supporting mental health in the workplace. If the answer is none, you may put none.” Or, “what areas in your life are causing you the most stress in your mental health?” You can have fill-in the blank answers or in this case, you can give options: physical health, financial/economy, workload/overworked, or personal/family life. 



Week three: AMA follow up meeting


Host a follow up meeting to discuss the top results of the anonymous AMA. Go over the answers and the various ways the company already offers resources for certain issues or the new ways the company would like to help address mental health issues. 


For example, if the issue is poor communication leading to anxiety, leaders can have an open office hours zoom once a month, where people can pop in and ask anything they like – just like college officer hours. Or if people are worried about savings with sky high inflation, the company could pay for a seminar with a financial expert and let people sign up and learn. 


Week four: Mental health relief activities


You have got to end the month strong! You have decided to take on mental health in the workplace and have spent the past three weeks gathering information on what’s troubling everyone the most and trying to find ways to address their concerns. Now it’s time to have some fun to relieve some stress. 


Have a gratitude variety hour! Gratitude is on the top of every list to promote mental health – so have everyone share reasons why they are grateful for one another in a Cleary Event. From the simplest things – thanks Gerri for always refilling the printer paper, even though it’s not your job. Or go Andrew for taking the best notes and sharing your documents with the team! Someone can volunteer to read through the posts or people can take turns reading their own.  


Plan a virtual drawing/coloring contest. There’s a reason adult coloring books are a thing now. Create a contest to promote the calming activity to help your brain and body relax – it’s kind of like meditating. You can either let creativity fly and see what people create or have a fun prompt like, draw yourself where you would like to vacation and let the rest of the team guess where that is.


Close out the month by encouraging employees to create interest groups, people engaging in activities and topics they like will make them happy. There’s the classic kinds of groups like hobbies and favorite tv show groups. But it can get more specific and unique – Korean drama super fans, urban foraging (finding edible plants in urban areas), or a minimalist group. Having these groups will promote social connections through the year and continue to benefit mental health. 


It’s no secret, people with good mental health are happier. Of course there are a lot of factors to having good mental health, a positive workplace is only one of them! 

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