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In the UK, poor mental health accounts for more than half of all work-related illnesses. Around 51% of long-term sick leave is due to stress, depression, or anxiety [1].

At i3Works, we deeply value the mental well-being of our team members, recognising that a healthy mind is essential for both personal and professional growth. We also understand the importance of open conversations, which is why we’ve fostered a culture where team members can discuss their mental health concerns openly and without judgment.

Our comprehensive approach to mental health includes regular awareness campaigns, educational workshops, and access to mental health first aiders who provide empathetic and confidential support to our colleagues. Additionally, we prioritise work-life balance, offering remote work options, ensuring our team can maintain a healthy equilibrium between their professional and personal lives. By investing in these initiatives, we aim to create a supportive environment where everyone feels valued, heard, and empowered to prioritise their mental well-being.

i3Works’ Mental Health Network

Early in 2020, we established our dedicated mental health function. This initiative was driven by our commitment to raising awareness about mental health issues and providing a robust support network accessible to all colleagues. Today, our well-established and fully supported Mental Health Network stands as a testament to our organisation’s dedication to corporate social responsibility, fostering a positive and sustainable environment for all our employees.

Our Mental Health Network comprises volunteers from various service lines, all trained as mental health first aiders with diverse levels of expertise, knowledge, and empathy. They are here to advise, support, and, when necessary, guide colleagues to further professional assistance. Regular mental health first aider meetings, a user-friendly internal webpage, and frequent lunch and learn presentations serve as the backbone of our awareness initiatives. By enhancing mental health awareness across i3Works, we’ve empowered our colleagues with knowledge about an accessible support system. This confidential space allows them to engage with a mental health first aider of their choice. Our approach, marked by warmth and understanding, often results in colleagues finding solace in a simple, confidential chat. Yet, our mental health first aiders are always ready to provide extended support and, if needed, facilitate professional referrals.

To ensure continuous improvement and enhance our offerings, we are also in the process of developing a quarterly survey. This survey will invite all colleagues to contribute their insights, providing valuable feedback to refine the management and delivery of our Mental Health Network.

In the face of the growing spotlight on mental health issues, both in the UK and globally, and aligned with i3Works’ expansion, our mental health function has evolved rapidly over the past three years. We remain committed to building an ever-evolving support network, capable of addressing the challenges posed by personal and professional development, business growth, and our enduring commitment to our employees’ well-being.

My experience of i3Works’ Mental Health Network – Jason Gadd, Consultant, Veteran and Network Lead

During my Military career I witnessed a number of traumatic events, where at times I failed to accept, struggled to deal with, or come to terms with what had happened and maybe thought I was a failure.  However, following deterioration in my character, personal and professional life, I recognised that something needed to be done. I realised that accepting help or taking advice was not a sign of weakness but would help address my own personal issues to prevent them from developing into something more severe and long term and also show me that I was not a failure. I learned a valuable lesson – it’s okay to have feelings, to open up, to accept advice and support and we all suffer with mental health throughout our lifetime.

On joining i3Works I recognised that a developing network was in place, of which I immediately wanted to jump on board with, share my experiences and drive forward to provide support to colleagues who may find themselves in a similar position that I had been in.

I have been totally overwhelmed by the enthusiastic and welcoming nature at i3Works to provide a valuable support Mental Health Network to all colleagues.

[1] https://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/stress.pdf

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