Protecting our whole selves!

OFR prioritises colleague wellbeing, and we have a range of initiatives driven by our Mind Matters team who share information and deliver engaging sessions throughout the year. This month, our brilliant colleague Sam Bryant helped us celebrated MHFA Whole Self Day, delivering a talk on how we can bring whole selves into the workplace. Here, she tells us about learning how not to leave an aspect of our personality at the door. 

OFR team meeting

Our Mind Matters team are a great bunch, and I’m proud to give my time to this part of our business. Each of us has undertaken mental health first aid training and are available to provide information, support and signpost our peers. Our team meets regularly to discuss what ideas we have for the following month, as well as looking at mental health awareness days and sharing information to our internal wellbeing teams channel or the monthly OFR newsletter. 

Often there is a topic that we feel would be beneficial to present in more detail over a short lunchtime session, with past presentations including work life balance and imposter syndrome. We’re excited to be planning many more topics to share over this year also, looking at issues such as holiday and school stresses as well as the impact of social media.

This month, we decided to explore the concept of the Whole Self – something that coincided with Whole Self Day by MHFA. This is a day where people are encouraged to look at how they can bring their whole selves into work, rather than feel like they have to leave an aspect of their personality at the door. The presentation and discussion looked at a wheel of power which made people think about how they and others sat within the power dynamics of being invisible, visible or privileged.

It also looked at how you can be your authentic self – what it looks like when you are your authentic self, how it feels when you can’t be authentic and the benefits of being authentic to yourself which include increasing self-esteem and self-awareness.

I’m really pleased with the feedback from the session – colleagues mentioned how the wheel of power helped them to think about the different ways that they don’t personally experience prejudice and how awareness can help them try to do more to help other people. Whilst the word cloud of how our colleagues at OFR would describe themselves to a stranger without mentioning their roles here within the business, helped us all to understand how people perceive themselves outside of the 9-5.

I feel that the session highlighted how we can all make it easier to talk about things and on a personal level, I believe that by being open about my experiences, this can help other people as they may realise aspects that they can relate to. This carries on to the ethos of the Mind Matters team, as our aim isn’t to bombard people with information, but just to let people know that the support is there if it’s needed.   

For more information about My Whole Self: MHFA England please click here.


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