June 1, 2023
Making Mental Health Matter
Nearly one month ago, the seven marketing and ecommerce agencies within the WPP Manchester network came together to promote mental wellness. After several weeks of planning, many positive meetings and plenty of collaboration by the mental health advocates across the agencies, we produced an agenda full of varied activities, talks and initiatives. The five days were themed to address anxiety and stress, and to showcase our commitment to employee well-being.
A Week of Varied Activities and Talks
From calming the mind with Origami workshops and engaging in embroidery sessions, to fostering relaxation with coffee breaks and collaborative jigsaw puzzles, the week provided an array of activities to alleviate stress and promote mindfulness. There were also tasty cakes baked by staff and sold to raise funds for MIND, a charity dedicated to supporting mental health.
Supportive Talks and Expert Insights
The event also extended its reach beyond the agencies, collaborating with charitable organizations and guest speakers to share their wisdom on managing mental health. Craig Jones, a member of Andy’s Man Club, shared insights into how the charity helps men manage personal and professional pressures by providing a safe space for men to openly discuss their struggles, and receive support through peer-led sessions. Dr. Rina Bajaj , an award-winning counselling psychologist and author, joined the National Advertising Benevolent Society (NABS) to deliver an empowering talk, offering attendees valuable guidance in managing their mental well-being. This contribution exemplified the commitment of the agencies to providing employees with valuable resources and expert perspectives on mental health.
Active Participation and Physical Well-being
Recognising the importance of physical activity in maintaining mental health, the agencies encouraged employees to engage in various forms of exercise. Yoga sessions and Qigong practices, combining movement and breathwork, were organized to promote physical and mental balance. These activities aimed to cultivate a sense of overall well-being by integrating the mind and body.
The mental health event fostered partnerships with local businesses to diversify the activities and experiences offered. Two excursions were organized during the week. The first excursion led attendees to Barry’s Bootcamp Session, a high-intensity training session designed to invigorate the body and boost cardiovascular health. The second excursion took participants to Corner HQ, Manchester’s Boxing Boutique Gym, where an introductory boxing session was held. These activities provided employees with an opportunity to challenge themselves and engage in physical exercise different to what they would be used to.
Commenting on the week’s activities, Abhay Singh, Account Assistant at CSP Commerce, said:
“Just had an incredible week dedicated to mental health awareness! Hybrid working has reduced my in-person interactions and the activities over the past week have helped me challenge myself to be more active socially or physically. An empowering session by Andy’s Man Club, where I found support and connection with like-minded individuals. Having a safe space to be able to share your vulnerabilities with a supportive community felt like a breath of fresh air. Ended the week on a high note with a Corner HQ boxing class, releasing stress while throwing a few punches was the best I’ve felt in a while. Feeling grateful for these opportunities to explore personal mental well-being and glad to have made the most of it.”
Making Mental Health Matter
The collaboration of WPP agencies was a testament to the agencies’ collective commitment to fostering employee well-being and promoting better mental health. It was touching to see the number of activities and talks that were so positively received and engaged by people from across all of the agencies. For many of the smaller agencies it also provided the an opportunity to form new personal relationships with those beyond their own agency.