For World Mental Health Day, we recognize that #OurMentalHealthMatters every day, everywhere for everyone. At Schneider Electric, our ambition is to be the most inclusive and caring company in the world by offering equal opportunities and co-creating a place where everyone belongs and thrives. We especially prioritize well-being and mental health as part of this journey, and 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 ‘Here for Each Other’ as the theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day, 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 reaching out to others or attending a social 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 our human network and social 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.
This year’s theme of ‘Here for Each Other’ is more than just making connections; it is about deliberately leaning in to support, coach, care for and collaborate with others. It’s about teamwork at a professional and personal level. It’s about passing along your positive human energy to others, especially in the most vulnerable or urgent situations, and receiving the same in return.
Beyond connections, being Here for Each Other
This past month, I spent some time in Barcelona, one of Schneider Electric’s key hub cities, with colleagues, customers and talents. Overall, it was a productive and inspiring work trip especially as I had not seen many colleagues for years.
During those weeks, I had a couple of more personal exchanges that meant a lot to me. One was with a colleague who asked me about my own career and growth and gave me some really thoughtful advice. Another colleague and I met for drinks and we exchanged perspectives on leadership and culture. Neither was part of my formal agenda, just open conversations in the spirit of supporting each other.
By promoting more understanding of mental health and designing programs and policies to facilitate our employees’ unique ways of working and living, we believe that Schneider is leading the way. Whether it’s our global policy for family leave, a training program on well-being, our Trust Line for employees to report ethics issues, or even just a personal check in with a dear colleague – let’s make the commitment to mental health and be Here for Each Other every day.
About the author
Tina Mylon, SVP Talent, Inclusion and Culture
Tina 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.