Wunderman Thompson UK is using this year's Mental Health Awareness Week (13 - 19 May) to encourage staff at its London offices to take 15-minute ‘ad breaks’ over the course of the working day. The new initiative will be launched on Wednesday 15th May, with a programme of events running at both Greater London House and 1 Knightsbridge Green.
Pip Hulbert, UK CEO at Wunderman Thompson, said: “We want to use the events on Wednesday to change attitudes towards stress and stress management in the workplace. These aren't issues you can pay lip service to once a year and we want to make all employees aware of the full range of resources we offer to safeguard our people’s mental health.
"Stress is the enemy of creativity. We want to give staff practical strategies to help them minimise stress in their daily lives so they are best equipped to produce great work and enjoy doing so.”
Wunderman Thompson UK is kicking off Wednesday’s schedule by introducing the internal ‘well: mind’ team. This is comprised of eight mental health ambassadors split between both offices who have received training from the charity Mind. They will act as an impartial point of contact to direct people towards additional support.
Pip explains: “Internalising stress and anxiety only makes the issue worse. Although struggling with pressure is not a sign of weakness, many of us still feel uncomfortable talking about our mental health – especially to our line managers. While the ambassadors are not trained counselors, they will be able to point colleagues in the right direction to get the support they need.
“The well: mind team will also help us to push our ‘ad break’ initiative internally. We’ve already introduced a number of scheduled wellness activities, including yoga classes, massage and monthly visits from a resilience coach. However, we understand there are times when people are simply too busy to take advantage of these. Instead, we want to change attitudes towards how we manage our own mental health by encouraging people to incorporate regular 15-minute wellness breaks into their daily schedules.”
Wednesday’s programme will introduce a range of bite-sized activities colleagues can introduce into their routine. Sessions will run concurrently across both offices between 11 am - 4 pm and include yoga desk stretches, mindful walking and power napping. Josh Roberts, author and speaker on mental health issues, will talk about his own experiences in the advertising sector and offer his top 10 tips to thrive in the industry. All colleagues will then be invited to Greater London House for a motivational session with happiness guru Danny Bent, who has been voted one of the 100 happiest people in the UK.