For #WorldMentalHealthDay, we recognize that #OurMentalHealthMatters, every day, everywhere for everyone.
At Schneider Electric, we are deeply committed to fostering an inclusive culture. This means everyone should feel safe to be their unique self, even in those difficult moments when we are distressed, anxious or struggling to cope.
We all have mental health – sometimes it’s in a strong state, other times not so much. As with our physical health, therefore, we all bear a collective responsibility to check in on our mental well-being and take appropriate action when needed. Simply put: care for self and care for others.
The importance of social connection
When my team first proposed Social Connection as the theme for this year’s #WorldMentalHealthDay, my reaction was mixed. I was concerned it might be too ‘light’ a topic, especially in the context of rising cases of mental health challenges like depression and burnout globally. Plus, I’m an introvert so the idea of socializing with others or attending an event would not be my first impulse when I am in need of a mental health boost.
But as I read the data and spoke with colleagues, I realized the importance of human connection to our sense of well-being (and, yes, this also applies to introverts!). From the research, we know social connection is the single biggest driver of our happiness and one of the biggest drivers of our engagement and productivity at work.
I can recognize this dynamic myself. Each time I connect with someone, it is a moment of distinctive human exchange, generating a unique type of energy and stimulation. And, owing to the pandemic, it has been particularly hard in recent years to experience these kinds of face-to-face connections.
Connecting with people, connecting with nature
For example, I recently spent a week with my colleagues in Grenoble, France. We hadn’t come together in for some time and felt pressure to jam our agenda with topic after topic.
At one point, someone suggested we pivot and make room for a short outdoor hike. That hike proved to be one of the most valuable activities for our team, especially when it came to exchanging ideas, strengthening trust and cultivating a greater sense of well-being.
By promoting a better understanding of mental health within a safe environment, while designing programs and implementing policies to facilitate our employees’ unique ways of working and living, we believe that Schneider is achieving a positive, lasting impact. Whether it’s our global policy for family leave, a training program on well-being, or even just a casual hike in a beautiful setting – it’s critical that we continue to recognize the importance of mental health and support one another in caring for it.
About the Author
Tina Mylon, Senior Vice President Talent and Diversity, is a great role model at Schneider Electric for the importance of well-being. She is a Global HR Executive with broad experience in talent strategy and management, leadership development, talent acquisition, diversity and inclusion, organizational effectiveness, and change management.
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