May: Mental Health Awareness Month

10 mins

May marks the start of the much-anticipated British summer. Two bank holidays and a bit more...

May marks the start of the much-anticipated British summer. Two bank holidays and a bit more sun means the start of the barbecue season, slightly sunburnt Brits and some busy golf courses. It is also a month dedicated to a topic that is swiftly swept aside, a taboo subject nobody wants to talk about. Mental Health.

It’s not news to reveal that stress at work accounts for a large proportion of work-related illnesses, 40% to be exact. Studies have also found that mental health costs 300,000 jobs a year and accounts for £42bn in lost revenue. This cycle of stress, anxiety, disengagement and burnout has become the single greatest cause of employee absence.

Mental Health is everyone’s business.

Almost all of us have been affected or knows of someone who has been affected by Mental health.

This year, the campaign led by The Mental Health Foundation, is focused around Body Image. With the rise of social media platforms like Instagram, and the promotion of unobtainable and unrealistic standards of what beauty is, how we look and feel is becoming inevitable in society.

The statistics can speak for themselves. One in eight adults said they felt suicidal because they were so unhappy with how they looked. Worries about how we look can impact our self-esteem and confidence, with the media having a strong influence on what we think a ‘normal’ body looks like.

And this can impact how we perform at work. In fact, new research reveals a confidence crisis in the workplace, indicative of the pressure people feel to look and act a certain way. 29% of British employees say client meetings create the fear factor due to a lack of confidence, with 30% saying ‘power dressing’ helps to overcome this.

Such an emphasis on appearance makes the time for employees to act now. As employers, we have a commitment to put employees health and wellbeing as a priority. A stressed workforce leads to a lack of productivity and underperformance, and this just isn’t good business.

How can you get involved in the workplace?

In the past few years, employers have only really started to have meaningful conversations about employee wellbeing. So let’s carry on this conversation.


Don’t shy away – get your team to share pictures amongst yourself of a time or place when you felt comfortable. This could be last week, last month, or last year. Even your five-year-old self! Go that one step further and post on your company page with the hashtag #BeBodyKind and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

Go Green!

Did you know that the average adult will say “I’m fine” 14 times per week, yet only 19% actually mean it? Join businesses across the nation in creating a space for people to talk about mental health by encouraging people to wear the international Mental Health Awareness symbol, a green ribbon.

Show colleagues or simply those you walk past on the way to and from work that you care about their mental health. 

Tuck in for Mental Health!

In recent years, businesses are doing more to change the way people think about mental health.And hosting an event at your company, no matter how small, can help reach more people than ever before. A flashmob, pottery-class and yoga sessions in the office are only some of the events organisations have hosted, raising thousands of pounds for such a deserving cause.

Why not get involved in the new community fundraising initiative, Curry and Chaat? The idea is simple. Get your colleagues together to enjoy a great curry over lunch and take the opportunity to speak out. We know that maintaining positive relationships in our life has a significant benefit to mental health and what better way than over a delicious curry!


Encourage Health and Fitness

Given the choice between discount takeaways and discount gym memberships, employees will choose the option that will make them feel fitter and happier in the long-term. Offering gym membership discounts, a cycle to work scheme and emotional support via a confidential support line are some of the ways you can promote health and fitness in the workplace. In fact, gym membership redemptions were up by 98% between December 2018 to January 2019.

Make 2019 your year of wellbeing. Don’t just think about it, don’t just talk about it, act upon it!

To find out more about the #BeBodyKind campaign, read the report here.


3Search is an award-winning UK recruitment consultancy, specialising in marketing, strategy & transformation, and tech positions. Whether you’re seeking new talent or looking for your next career move, we can help. Learn more at

3Search | England and Wales, (Registration Number 09135328)
Site by Venn