Mental Health Awareness Month at BGRS

May 25, 2022

This year, during Mental Health Awareness month, BGRS went “Back to Basics” with a focus on inclusivity and understanding in our everyday practices.

Mental Health Awareness Month was started by the Mental Health America organization in 1949 and is observed every May. Each year it continues to evolve. This year, the theme is “Back to Basics,” which focuses on building foundational awareness that empowers people to recognize signs of concern and proactively seek out help for mental health issues.

At BGRS, diversity, equity and inclusion are at the core of everything we do. Creating an inclusive environment that supports our employees is paramount. Mental Health Awareness month was a great opportunity to look at our environment and find ways to actively create safe spaces and supportive work relationships.

Why is having an inclusive environment important for mental health?

According to recent research, 82% of employees with mental health issues indicate it impacts their work, while only 53% of those with physical health issues say it impacts their work.

Additionally, a survey completed by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) uncovered statistics showing how complicated discussions around mental health can be in the workplace. Only 56% of employees who struggle with mental illness or mental health conditions feel comfortable openly discussing it with co-workers and managers. More than 40% of employees are concerned about retaliation if they seek mental health care or take time off for their mental health.

What can we do?

During Mental Health Awareness Month, our HR teams shared resources to promote open dialogue and provide concrete examples of how we can support the mental health of our colleagues every day. For example, when it relates to remote work, virtual meetings, and addressing mental health concerns:

  1. Communicate if video will be utilized.
  2. Create an agenda to send in advance.
  3. The meeting facilitator, should ensure there are ground rules about distractions.
  4. When using BGRS’s video conferencing platform, Closed Captioning is available for meetings of 3 or more attendees.
  5. Approach mental health discussions without judgement or preconceived notions.

As Catherine Tshabalala, Manager of DEI & CSR at BGRS states, “The virtual environment has had an impact on mental and emotional health for many. As we continue to navigate remote work and new ways of working, we are committed to strengthening support for everyone, regardless of whether a person has disclosed a specific need.

Inclusivity at BGRS

Our employees are encouraged to communicate showing support and empathy and to exercise flexibility when accommodating each other. Our inclusive leadership training series has been extremely well-received: with phase 1 at 100% completion, we have kicked off phase 2 for people managers around the world. The current phase moves from foundational understanding and awareness to practical strategies for managers to foster an inclusive environment.

Our commitment to our customers starts with happy, healthy, and supported employees. We are so thankful to our HR teams and people managers globally for their willingness to continually evaluate our processes, policies, and procedures and how they impact our teams across every dimension.

Read more here.