5 Easy Activities for Mental Health Awareness Week: Kindness Theme
1. Random Acts of Kindness
Here’s how it works:
- Ask employees whether they want to be involved and if so, to provide you with their names.
- Assign to each person, someone else who will be their Random Acts of Kindness recipient. Each person will be given one name of a person who they will do Random Acts of Kindness to. In turn, they will receive Random Acts of Kindness from someone else but they will not know who.
- Do not publicise the list of who is the gift-giver of who to keep it anonymous – recipients will not know who they are receiving the Random Acts of Kindness from.
- The idea is that each person, from time to time, perhaps every two months or so, will do something kind to their recipient – but they will do it anonymously, maybe leaving something on someone’s desk while they are out. Ideas could be: a card, a bottle of wine, chocolates, flowers etc.
- It’s a super way to ensure everyone feels special from time to time.
2. Set up Achievement Rewards
Ask people to nominate someone else that they think deserves recognition for something they have done recently at work. This could be something small like managing a challenging problem well, going out of their way on a project, or helping someone.
Recognise the achievement with an applause, certificate and/or small gift (such as a voucher). It is ideal to do it each month so that over time, many people have the chance to be recognised in front of others. Mental Health Awareness Week is a good time to set this in motion.
3. Encourage Self-Kindness
Arrange a series of webinar-, video- or app-based activities that help promote good mental health:
- Search mental health and HR-based Facebook and LinkedIn groups for practitioners and coaches that are willing to provide these sessions – many will do introductory hours for free.
- Mental Health Awareness Week is also a great time to get employees onto an online resilience training course such as Brain Happy’s Feel Great @ Working From Home or Feel Great @ Work courses (see below).
4. Kindness to Animals
Having a pet is clinically proven to promote good mental health and animal rescue centres have a huge number of dogs and cats that need temporary foster homes, making a win-win situation, especially for people working from home.
A growing number of companies are now offering pawturnity leave – a day off for adopting a dog or cat from a rescue centre. Why not offer employees a few hours off during Mental Health Awareness Week to either foster a dog, or walk an elderly or vulnerable neighbour’s dog?
5. Host a mental health brunch
Invite employees, their families and pets to a (virtual) mental health brunch. If possible, find someone in your organisation who is willing to speak about their own mental health. If not, use the opportunity for people to relax and have non-work-related discussions.
You could start with a game that promotes good self-esteem by asking each person to list three things they like about one other person in the team.