Mental Health Awareness Week:  It’s ok to not be ok
Liz Phipps, HR Manager

It’s ok to not be ok. Those six words are so powerful, but they are so easy to say before we move onto our next sentence, or our next train of thought.

In Mental Health Awareness Week, perhaps the challenge for all of us is to actually stop, take a moment to say those words and then take a few more minutes to actually think about them and what they mean. It’s ok to not be ok. What even is ok in these times? Am I ok? Are you ok? Some days we possibly all can say a wholehearted yes, other days if we feel comfortable to tell the truth, we’d be saying no, do you know what, I’m not ok. And of course there’s the huge middle ground, where some days, especially with all the challenges which could consume us just now, we’re possibly just questioning our own sanity as we try and keep up.

We’re in, what is in many ways, a great position just now at Inspire of being busy. We’re certainly not complaining about this as we’re all passionate about supporting our clients. We’re mindful though that some days we can feel a bit more reactive than proactive and these aren’t always comfortable days which lend themselves to us feeling at our most resilient, feeling individually that we’re thriving and additionally feeling that we have enough head space and time to be there for each other. But, being empathetic and supportive forms part of our core beliefs at Inspire and underpins the way we always want to do business. We’re incredibly proud of how supportive our team is, time and time again being there for each other.

When explaining why nature is the theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, Mark Rowland, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation writes that they have two clear aims to the week “Firstly, to inspire more people to connect with nature in new ways, noticing the impact that this connection can have for their mental health. Secondly, to convince decision makers at all levels that access to and quality of nature is a mental health and social justice issue as well as an environmental one”. He comments that “stories are the best way to influence change” and asks that we all share stories of how nature has supported our mental health.

On several occasions in team meetings over the last few months, we’ve said, that despite the differences to the personal challenges we face, how lucky we are to be located in Poole from an office perspective, and mostly living relatively near to the office. We’re thus fortunate enough to have had boundless opportunities to connect with nature on our doorstep, even when we had to stay local. For most of us, local still meant an amazing choice of sea or forest. We’ve shared a number of stories internally about how getting out in nature has boosted our individual mood and wellbeing.

In the last lockdown, we all received the equivalent of a monetary gift from the Directors, to spend on something we individually thought would aid our wellbeing. With our purchases, so many of us in the team made the direct causal link between our mental health and experiencing nature, buying something to use outside – be it running shoes, a Fitbit, a new garden green house, a subscription to a local walking group, plants for the garden.

At Inspire, we’re here to support you and your business, we’re also passionate about trying to talk more about mental health, a theme running strongly across the business – our Founder, Warren, is part of Dorset Chamber’s GU6 initiative and is a trained Mental Health Champion, along with others in our team.

It’s ok to not be ok and it’s always good to have a catch up.  We wholeheartedly support the aims of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week and we’d love to hear how connecting with nature is supporting your own mental health.

We would just like a little bit of warmer weather!



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