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11 September 2020

Mental health and wellbeing during a pandemic

Mental health and wellbeing during a pandemic
Helen White is Chief Executive at Taff Housing, and will be Chairing our virtual Mental Health and Wellbeing Conference in October. Here she talks about the impact the coronavirus crisis has had on her own mental wellbeing, as well as that of her colleagues:

“I’d be lying if I said the mental health and wellbeing of my colleagues was my first concern when we closed the office on the evening of the 22nd March 2020. In all honestly, I was trying to wrap my head around going from an office-based organisation where working from home had been the exception to one with almost all colleagues sat behind their kitchen tables! How on earth was this going to work? How would we make sure our services to tenants could still be delivered? At times it’s been overwhelming and it pushed me to my limits!

As it turns out; going into lockdown was the easy bit! I think all of us underestimated the impact being thrust into a new normal would have on our mental health and wellbeing. A world of worry was hard to escape as we thought about our own health, our families, friends, and loved ones, and watched the news of a raising daily death toll with horror and a sense of fear for the future.

I’ve been blown away by the resilience of my Taff colleagues – but I know it has not been easy and many of us have struggled mentally. I have tried my best to communicate often, making sure everyone knew that it was a case of doing what you can when you can and that if anything had to give it should be work. Acknowledging and talking openly about the mental health challenges the last six months has presented is the first important step in being proactive and putting the right support in place. There is no need to shy away from our own worries and vulnerability, indeed, sharing our personal experience is vital if we are to support each other and create an environment where it’s okay not to be okay and that asking for help is always an option.

I’ve no doubt the conference will be an excellent way of bringing together personal stories along with practical ideas we can all take back to our organisations to ensure we continue to support not only our own mental health but that of our colleagues.”

Book your place at the Mental Health and Wellbeing Conference here.