I sat down with some of our team to talk openly about mental health.
Not what I expected.
When asking my team to sit down and share their mental health experiences on film, I’m not sure what I expected. A couple of drop outs on the day? Maybe some awkward foot shuffles? Potentially a severe lack of eye contact (mainly from yours truly)?
What I did not expect was what I got – a candid, charming and very real account of what everyday folk, walking around a snazzy open-plan office actually go through in life.
Let’s talk about mental health. Pt.1.
The stories you hear in this film took a lot for people to share. We hope that by challenging ourselves to step up and be honest and open about what mental health can look like, we will encourage others to do the same.
Where do we go now?
This is part one of a mental health series that I’m bringing together, along with my talented videographer, Tom and the amazing people sitting down talking to me. I think that stopping here would do my team an injustice. I want to dig a little deeper on this topic and go beyond the ‘condition’. What did depression look like for me? What does anxiety mean for the day to day? How do people cope with OCD or phobias that restrict our ability to live a ‘normal’ life? How do others react to a mental illness or condition? I’m lucky enough to be in the company of very bold and equally funny people willing to share this, so why wouldn’t I listen?
I also think, as the world begins to acknowledge the power of invisible diversity, our mental health conditions can contribute greatly to building a room full of different experiences and perspectives.
How does it impact that thing, our job?
When considering our role in using technology to improve society, we see our mental health differences as a strength. It means we can personally relate to conversations around health and wellbeing and those projects always fire up a lot of passion in people (myself included). On an internal basis, we’re not just sitting around talking about mental health, we want to try and improve it. We’ve brought a trainer in to certify some of our team in mental health first aid and we provide weekly yoga classes which always help lift me out of a marketing fog. Beyond this, there’s a lengthly Evernote list of other initiatives we’d love to introduce. We’re always looking for inspiration though, so if you happen to be reading this and know of any great ideas, please reach out.
I’ll be exploring these conditions and their impact further in our next short film. In the meantime, I encourage others to introduce this conversation into their workplace as I’m sure your outcomes will be fascinatingly unique once again.
Thanks to Annie, Rachael, Christian, David, Jo, Jess and Lee for being the great folks you are.