How Storm ID got involved in Mental Health Awareness Week

A collage of eight storm id staff wearing a variety green clothes for Wear It Green Day

Portrait of Lucy Hu
By Lucy Hu

28 May 2024

Mental Health Awareness Week is the UK's biggest opportunity to shine a light on mental health and focus on promoting good mental health.

This year, Mental Health Awareness Week took place from May 13th to 19th. The theme was "Movement: Moving More for Our Mental Health." Physical activity has a tremendous potential to enhance our well-being. Just 10 minutes of brisk walking can boost our alertness, energy, and mood. Regular physical activity can raise our self-esteem and reduce stress and anxiety. Research has shown that physical activity positively impacts our mood. It is also crucial for preventing mental health problems. It improves the quality of lives of people with mental health issues.

This is especially important for our colleagues, as many of us work from home. Given the benefits of movement, Storm ID was keen to get involved. Our goals were to raise awareness of movement's importance to mental health. We also aimed to raise funds and encourage more movement at work.

How did we get involved?

1. Organized an Online Yoga Session with a Yoga Instructor

To kick off the week, we organized an online yoga session led by a professional yoga instructor. We designed this session to help employees relax, stretch, and connect with their bodies in a mindful way. Yoga has many mental health benefits. It reduces stress and anxiety, improves mood, and boosts well-being. Carol, our yoga instructor, led a gentle Vinyasa flow class for us. She focused on linking breath and motion.

“I really loved yesterday's session, I looked forward to it all day and it put me in a lovely frame of mind as I finished off the work day and began my evening. Carol is a super instructor and I found the session easy to follow but still a challenge. Thank you.” – Ashleigh McMillan

“Was such a nice thing to have in the calendar and break up the day! Would be great to be able to do more exercise sessions like it”

2. Organized a 5K Run

For those in the office, we organized a 5K run. Remote colleagues could join from their locations at the same time. This event promoted exercise. It also built a sense of community among employees, despite the physical distances. Running and other aerobic exercises are great for releasing endorphins, natural mood lifters.

“During our lunch break, Olly and I ran a delightful 5k run from the office, winding through the local park and cycle paths at a steady pace. It gave me with a positive boost for the rest of the afternoon!”

3. Dedicated Company Quiet Time

We implemented a dedicated company quiet time to recognize the importance of taking breaks and moving regularly. During this 15-minute break, all colleagues were encouraged to step away from their desks, stretch, and move their bodies.

“I had a very cool (in both senses) cycle along the prom. Very cleansing!” – Nick Watton

“That was nice - having some deliberate, and endorsed, quiet time.”

4. Wear It Green Day

We organized a "Wear It Green Day" to support Mental Health Awareness Week. We encouraged colleagues to wear green, the color of mental health awareness. The day included a fun photo competition. Employees shared pictures of their green clothes. The company donated £50 to two winners to give to a mental health charity of their choice. As a result we donated £100 to The Samaritans.

Two Storm ID colleagues wearing green
Storm ID staff wearing green socks for Wear it Green Day

5. Daily Tips, Reminders, and Articles

Throughout the week, we gave daily tips, reminders, and articles. These encouraged colleagues to move and start a conversation about the impact of exercise and sport. You can easily make these small changes beyond Mental Health Awareness Week. They are especially useful for working from home.

  • Schedule a 25-minute meeting instead of 30-minute one and use the 5 minutes for stretching

  • Try a walking meeting if having a catch up or a meeting that doesn’t require sharing screens or taking notes

  • Try desk exercises such as leg extensions, heel raises, seated twists or neck and should rolls

What we learned

By actively participating in Mental Health Awareness Week, we not only promoted physical activity but also fostered a supportive and health-conscious work environment. These initiatives helped to raise awareness about the importance of movement for mental health. Mental Health Awareness Week 2024 has shown that small changes and dedicated efforts can make a significant impact on mental health. We remain committed to supporting the mental and physical well-being of our employees. A healthy team is a happy and productive team.