DVLA workers in campaign to combat mental health stigma
A MINI village has been created at Swansea's DVLA for staff for find out more about mental health.
The unique awareness event called The Village saw the setting up of a mini village on site of all the amenities you would expect to see in villages and towns across the country, including a library, museum, cinema, tea shop and community centre. But it was a village with a twist — as each part of the village provided a unique opportunity for staff to find out more about mental health.
DVLA's chief operating officer Judith Whitaker said: "As an agency we recognise that by improving and managing mental health in the workplace we can not only support the mental wellbeing of individuals, but contribute to business benefits in terms of supporting change and improving engagement, productivity and attendance."
The DVLA worked in conjunction with the Time to Change Wales campaign and Swansea Council Voluntary Services to hold the event. Staff could find out how mental health perceptions have changed over time at the museum, and consider the stigma still associated with poor mental health in the village cinema showing Time to Change videos.
Swansea Council Voluntary Services gave advice about the resources available to support them at the village surgery.
There was also an opportunity to discover how food can affect our mood and to chat to Time to Change champions at the tea shop. Then they could discover new ways to connect with others at the community centre.
The Village was part of an agency promotion that challenges staff to experience the five pathways to well being — connect, keep learning, be active, give and take notice, promoted by the mental health charity Mind.
Time to Change Wales programme manager Cath Lindley added: "The stigma attached to mental health problems can make it difficult for people to get help when they need it, so talking about mental health is an important part of a healthy workplace.
"We're thrilled the DVLA is working with Time to Change Wales to make sure staff get opportunities to talk about mental health. We're looking forward to working with organisations around Wales to help end stigma in the Welsh workplace."
The campaign is funded by the Department of Health and Comic Relief.