If you didn’t know, this week (8th to the 12th May 2017) is dedicated to raising awareness of mental health. This is something very close to my heart; as I too was diagnosed with anxiety a few years back. This experience is the very reason why I started the blog off and I’ve enjoyed sharing my experiences with you all ever since.
I decided to dedicate this post today to Mental Health Awareness Week, including where to find help if you need it, and how you can get involved in promoting mental health at your work place.
Want to know more? Read on…
So, the minute I found out my current employer, Siemens, were holding fund raising activities during this week, I had to get involved. See – the thing about mental health is that people suffer on their own. You doubt yourself all the time, and quite often your confidence is knocked.
This year, Siemens’ chosen charity is Mind, who specialise in providing support and resources for those suffering from ill mental health. Just so you know, their website contains lots of info on:
- Finding therapists, drop-in centres or crisis help-lines
- Real people’s stories on their experience with mental health
- A – Z list of resources for mental health
Click here to go there now. If you’re in need of help quickly, this is the place you should go. Or, if you’re just looking for advice and real people’s tips, their website is worth a look.
But anyway, let’s get on to the juicy stuff!
Siemens Mind fundraising
When I first joined Siemens, I didn’t realise how great they are with their staff. They provide training and actively promote personal development. The knowledge I shared in my #FabulousIntrovert series is as a result of the culture Siemens promote. I’m in no way an affiliate of Siemens, I just know a good company to work for when I see one!
I decided a mental health quiz would get colleagues involved and really thinking about how mental health can affect us. The quiz was provided by the company and I handed out at least 50 of them! Everyone has been so generous and it’s very heartwarming knowing that my colleagues are willing to contribute.
Here are some photos from the quiz day:
To sweeten the deal, I reached out to my Facebook friends to see if anyone was willing to donate some prizes for the winner(s). I was blown over by those who offered to donate and they definitely deserves a shout out!
First, my cousin Sophie generously offered to donate one of her paintings. Sophie blogs at AMotherStory, the designer, illustrator, calligrapher and writer. To quote:
Amotherstory is a website inspired by the seachange that becoming a mother brought about – Story’s offering sits alongside honest content that shares a kinship with its philosophy of helping readers to feel good through the everyday beauty of living well.
The painting she donated is:
Thank you Sophie for donating this lovely piece of art!
Another friend, Alex, offered to donate another handmade gift of hers:
Alex designs and paints her own handmade peg dolls and each one is customized to specification (if needed). They make great cake toppers, bridesmaid and pregnancy announcements, and just about any other gift for an event you could think of.
Definitely with checking out her Etsy shop here -> Alex’s Art House. Psst. She even does Star Wars and comic book characters too which is awesome!
Finally, my lovely mother donated some luxury toiletries, some jewellery, and bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream. These went down a treat at work and were very well received – thanks mum!
Total raised from the quiz: £105.15
Total raised for the week: £531.00
Honestly, I’m over the moon about the amount raised! There are around 200 people working on my site so that’s more than £2 per person raised. Fantastic!
Here I am with the winner:
Here I am with 3rd place Mark:
Just waiting on 2nd prize winner to find me 🙂
So how can you get involved and do your bit? It’s easier than you might think:
Bite the bullet
The scariest part about putting yourself out there with this kind of thing is actually biting the bullet! Fear and doubt swamped me the minute I sent off the email to volunteer. But after a few minutes, this feeling gave way to excitement. Excitement to meet new people, raise money for a VERY worthwhile cause, and get in touch with old friends and family.
I also panicked a bit about my own mental health. I worried that maybe I was taking too much and should keep all my eggs in one basket, so to speak. But, the initial scariness is a minor price to pay for the goodness your volunteering will do. That keep me going throughout all of it.
Similar to the above, taking part in fundraisers means you have to be brave. But not as brave as you might think! See, if I can walk around a building convincing people to take part in a quiz, anxiety and all, then so can you! It actually became really fun once I dropped the guard.
Remember the reasons why you’re getting involved in the first place
I kept in mind the reasons for doing this fundraiser at the forefront of my mind at all times. Whenever I doubted myself, or whenever I wanted to give up, I pushed those thoughts away. Bonus: I walked double the amount of steps I would usually do! Haha.
So there we go! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed raising money for Mind, and meeting all the great people that I work with. If you want to get involved like I did, there’s a whole bunch of ideas on Mind’s website. Just click here to get involved.
Want to read more on the blog? Here are some ideas: