Wolves connected with every member of its staff during Mental Health & Wellbeing Week, which saw a hugely important topic tackled in a variety of ways.
Our mental health and wellbeing is crucial, and has been even more prevalent over the past 18 months, so Wolves spent last week supporting staff by updating them with information to help maintain good mental health and wellbeing.
Daily email updates, gatherings and helpful packs were all provided to staff across the week to help everyone reflect on their own mental health and offer a helping hand to those around them if needed.
Scott Sellars, technical director & mental health champion to the Wolves board, began the week with a column sent to all staff, acknowledging the importance of the topic, highlighting the changes made to support mental health at the club, offering support and celebrating the club’s successes.
He told staff: “During the past 18 months, with the club operating during a national lockdown, mental health and wellbeing was at the forefront of our minds, and I think we should celebrate how we’ve protected our players and staff in that area.
“Back in May 2020, when we were isolating at home, I touched on this topic in a staff email, sharing my experiences of mental health as a conversation during my playing days, which seemed to resonate with people, so it’s a topic I’ve always taken very seriously, as we all do.
“We’ve acknowledged the importance of our mental health and wellbeing, and taken genuine steps forward in supporting that area, which I believe we should celebrate.”
What followed was daily emails, covering a variety of departments and personnel, with the club’s new We Care ambassadors introduced on Tuesday. The ambassadors are trained by Mental Health First Aid England, giving them a broad understanding of mental health issues, and they are there as support to Wolves staff.
The continued great work of the Wolves Foundation was celebrated the following day. The vast majority of the 36 community and outreach projects run by the Foundation include a strong element of supporting the health and wellbeing of participants of all ages and sectors of society, so the topic was a relevant one.
With the loss of face-to-face delivery over the last 18 months, staff faced the challenge of adapting and being creative to continue to support those who needed it – a challenge they answered with immense pride and professionalism.
Thousands of masks and other items of PPE were distributed to the local area, £50,000 was raised for the Royal Wolverhampton Hospital NHS Trust’s Covid response, staff and former players made over 5,000 calls to participants and the Feed Our Pack initiative saw food provided to those in need in our community.
Another way Wolves have supported the pack over the past 18 months is with free access to the Unmind app, a workplace mental health platform which empowers employees to proactively measure, understand, and improve their mental wellbeing, and access to Unmind remains free for all staff.
Monday 18th October was World Menopause Day, which is led by the International Menopause Society, and Wolves stepped up to mark the day with a ‘Pause to Chat’ meeting. Menopause affects everyone, whether you are going through it as a woman, or working or living with someone who has symptoms, so education is crucial.
This was another topic raised during Mental Health & Wellbeing Week in an attempt to break the stigma and Monday, which was the first of monthly gatherings, enjoyed a successful uptake and was another example of Wolves broaching a hugely important conversation.
‘Pause to Chat’ is one of a number of activities which will continue to help these conversations take place in different ways, including group psychologist sessions, yoga classes, Strava challenges and a walking and talking group.
The week was concluded the same way it started, with a column from Sellars, but the message was that the conversations don’t stop at the end of Mental Health & Wellbeing Week, but continue, and there is always a hand of support available for all staff or supporters.
Sellars said: “We’ve come to the end of a really successful Mental Health & Wellbeing Week, where hopefully everyone has seen the positive work which has gone on at the club over the last few years, and it’s been a good opportunity to thank everyone for their help and support.
“Of course, these conversations don’t stop here – there is ongoing support for all members of staff, so when you need it, don’t be frightened to talk, that’s my message. We’re all here to support each other, not just with work, but topics beyond that too, which ultimately is what being one pack is all about.”