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Mental Health Awareness Week 2020

Posted 8 months ago by James Taylor


The word ‘unprecedented’ has been used unprecedentedly during lockdown. 

If we believe what we read, then when life is back to ‘normal’ we’re going to be hit with a new crisis.  A severe and unprecedented mental health crisis.

Human beings are creatures of habit.  We like systems, process and structure.  We like familiarity.

Not one thing about the Covid-19 crisis has given us any of that.

But we learn to adapt, to change and to create new behaviours that allow us to survive and then hopefully to thrive again in the future.

After 10 weeks of lockdown, those working are facing new and different challenges to those who are furloughed.  And it’s not easy for anyone.

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the attitude of gratitude.  I have been able, as a single parent, to really embrace seeing way way more of my children than I normally do and I don’t want that to come to an abrupt end when lock down ends.  I will find that tough to deal with.  My mind has moved ahead to that time because as CEO I am must now focus on what a return to work looks and feels like for Macildowie, and for our people.  

As business leaders we are defined by the choices we make (or don’t make) and by the way that we make people feel.  Sometimes we make a wrong call, we always hope that we have enough information to help us make the right one.

Our decisions can and do have an impact on the mental health of our people.  I know that I made the right call at the start of lockdown when I wrote this on the evening of the 18th March:


Good evening team…

Firstly, I hope everyone has ended the first official WFH day as positively as I hear you began it.   It seems that after tomorrow we’ll have some sunshine to look forward to too!

If, like me, you are all glued to the daily CV19 updates on the News then the parents amongst you may have that “first day of the summer holiday” sinking feeling about balancing work and childcare as schools and nurseries have been confirmed as closing next week. 

As a single dad myself, this is a feeling I have had every week for the past three years when I leave at 3.30pm on a Tuesday and every other Wednesday/Friday… a guilt of leaving work early to care for the two most important people in my life…. And then when I am cooking tea, or helping with homework, I have a guilt of not being at my desk, in a meeting or with a client.

I am fortunate that the kids understand that daddy is still at work, even when they’re in the house...some of you have had the “pleasure” of chatting to Eva and Charlie when you have called me recently…  I am also highly fortunate to have colleagues, NED’s and a Chairman who trust me enough to know that the job will get done even if it isn’t during standard operating hours… what are standard hours anyway 

So, for anyone worried about the latest government update… please don’t.  I trust you.  We trust you.  Recruitment is all about outputs.  Take care of your family, especially at times like this… and get your job completed in a flexible way that allows you to achieve everything that you need to and the business needs you to.

If you are concerned that you won’t be able to get your work done because of childcare next week please contact the business continuity team at businesscontinuity@macildowie.com as soon as possible. We’ll arrange for someone to give you a call and find a situation that works for you and the business as best we can. 

Have a great evening, stay safe!



I have never, in 23 years of working for Macildowie, had such an overwhelming response to an email communication…. Even from those without kids.  

We have continued to put the health and wellbeing of all of our staff at the very top of our 3 times a week Operational Board Meetings.  During these meetings we have signed off and delivered a number of new initiatives. 

Below are the email communications delivered to the business from our wonderful HR Manager, Ben LeRoy, during Mental Health Awareness Week last week. 

We hope that these are utilised well beyond Mental Health Awareness week and well beyond lockdown.  I'll leave you to read them in your own good time and hope that if as a Business Leader you are inspired to either a) do more as a result of reading this or b) feel that you have done something amazing for your staff this week (that we have overlooked) and would like to share it with us here at Macs then it has been worthwhile me learning how to operate our website CMS again in order to upload the information. 

Take care everyone, I wish you health and happiness in these difficult times.  JT  


Day One - Access to a New Recruitment L&D Platform and a New ‘Live’ Mindfulness Session 


In support of this week being Mental Health Awareness Week we have invited you to attend a brilliant live session called Mindfulness: Get Good at Life! & access to the L&D Portal it is being held on called ‘Recruitment in Lockdown’. 

The session, which is tomorrow at 2pm, is being run by Jeremy Snell, who is a renowned Recruitment Trainer and Emma Dredge who is a Corporate Mindfulness & Mindset Coach and Mental Health Instructor.  

Recruitment in Lockdown Platform

This brilliant new platform gives you access to a huge amount of training materials specific for Recruitment Consultants and Managers during the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown and includes: 

  • Live chat function for immediate coaching questions (using WhatsApp)
  • Forum for consultants to share and discuss experiences
  • Live streamed training a minimum of twice per week exclusive to the site that is recorded and hosted for multiple viewing
  • Full skills, mindset and performance training including guides for planning.
  • A library of resources incl. books, powerpacks and playbooks

Day 2 - New Access to an Emotional Wellbeing Platform



Part two in our Mental Health Awareness Week updates and we would like to remind you about My Internal World. 

My Internal World is an emotional health assessment and development hub which has been designed by emotional resilience experts Calm People. The on-line portal contains proven strategies and tactics to help build and maintain emotional wellbeing.

We have been talking to Calm People about a potential partnering opportunity and this is one the products that we can utilise both internally but also externally, where clients may be looking to build or expand their wellbeing strategies.  

Please note that the content in this tool will support us all; however, if you have already been diagnosed with a mental health issue please consult your professional adviser about using this system.

All of our benefits are now accessible through our Culture Hub on Perkbox. Just log-into your Perkbox account and scroll down on the home page. 


Day 3 - Mental Health Awareness Week – Our EAP and other support hubs are always there to help you.


Part three in our Mental Health Awareness Week updates and we would like to remind you about our EAP (Employee Assistance Program) and other service available should you need any help. 

All of this information, as well as our other benefits, are also available on your Perkbox Culture Hub. 


Our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is there to help you deal with any personal problems that might impact your health and well-being by offering confidential, professional and practical support across a host of issues including:

  • Mental health conditions
  • Health and wellbeing information
  • Stress at home or work
  • Financial issues including debt
  • Family and relationship matters
  • Consumer issues

The service gives access to a range of specialist support and information including:

  • Telephone support and counselling provided by qualified and experienced therapists
  • Up to six structured counselling sessions  per person, per issue, per year
  • Trained trauma counsellors, providing critical incident support 24/7, 365
  • An online health portal: www.healthassuredeap.co.uk
  • A smartphone app, offering help and support in the palm of your hand

The service is completely confidential and can be accessed via a free phone number and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for you and your immediate family members who live at the same address. 

There’s some brilliant webinars on the website which can support wellbeing during lockdown. Give them a look. 

Or you can download the Health Assured e-Hub App from your app store and access a wealth of information on emotional support, wellbeing resources, physical health and work life. 

It’s not just our EAP that can help though, there’s a large amount of support out there for any issue depending on how serious it can be.  (See attached list for who you can call if you need to talk).

The main thing is, never suffer in silence.  There is always support.  If you’d like any more information on the above please get in touch with me.


Day 4 - Mental Health Awareness Week – A reminder of the great apps available to help you.


Part Four in our Mental Health Awareness Week updates and we would like to remind you about the brilliant apps out there which can help your wellbeing whether it be financial, your mental health or physical fitness.   Here’s a few that you have access to now:


Perkbox -

Perkbox offers thousands of savings to help make your £££ stretch that bit further.  There are perks which are specifically chosen to support your physical, financial and mental wellbeing. From freebies to discounts you will have access to everything you need to live better at work and at home.


You can also access your culture hub on Perkbox here which gives you access to our benefit information.


Thinking For Good App – Personal Development



Thinking for Good is an app which provides solution focused thinking methodology which can help everyone improve their way of thinking and also productivity. 

For quick inspiration, select Kickstart my thinking to get some helpful prompts for your thinking.

For learning and development. The resources section contains videos, tutorials and downloadable worksheets and an audio version of their bestselling book ‘Go M.A.D. Thinking ‘The Art Of Making A Difference’

For a coaching session, take some time out to think about something you would like to achieve or a difference you would like to make and let Andy Gilbert guide you through a 25 minute coaching session. 

Available for download in your app store, just search “Thinking For Good”.


Insight Timer


Sometimes we just need to give our minds a break to help deal with balancing the demands of life. 

Insight timer is a great free app that has thousands of free meditations to support with mindfulness.

This is great for a 10 minute positivity filled morning meditation to get your brain wired for a good day. You can also filter on duration and theme.

There are meditations covering everything from parenting through to anxiety, uplifting or calming TedTalks – search out the positive talks, follow an interest or watch the most popular to expand your mind. 


Boxx (available through Perkbox)


Through Perkbox (www.perkbox.com or the app) you have 12 months free access to Boxx’s online fitness platform.

Boxx workouts focus on Boxing, HIIT/Cardio, Strength and Yoga. Taught by world-class instructors, these sessions range from one hour to seven minutes, and can be done without any equipment – making it easy to work up a sweat at home, in the office, or even in the garden!

You can stream your workouts from the Boxx website, or download their apps for iOS or Android.

Boxx’s experts have put together downloadable plans to help you reach it the smart way.

It’s not just workouts that Boxx offers after all, you are what you eat, and Boxx have oodles of tasty and healthy meal ideas to keep you in tip-top shape.

If you would like any more information about the above; or, if you know a great app that other people might be interested in and want to share it  - send me a message.