Supporting our colleagues on Mental Health Day

Today is World Mental Health Day which this year focuses on making mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority. At OFR, we strive to do this every day, ensuring that our colleagues have access to any support  they need. Here our colleague and mental health first aider Katrina Speirs-Simpson tells us more. 

Staff members in a meeting

The past few years have exacerbated the mental health issues faced by many across the globe; from the uncertainty of Covid, to the cost-of-living crisis, there are a range of acute challenges which add to the pressures of peoples’ lives and can often compromise their state of wellbeing. 

I firmly believe that good, ethical businesses should play their part in supporting their workforce and protecting their mental health and wellbeing. Thankfully it’s a consensus shared by my colleagues across OFR and we have some great initiatives in place to offer that support. 

The cornerstone of our offering is our Mind Matters programme, via which we have trained several mental health officers working across the country. Our colleagues Zak Askif, Helen Buckley, Sam Bryant, Melissa-Sue Erete, Lucy Kirkup, Laura Smith, Sarah Ward and I work hard to give colleagues access to the support they need – from sitting down for a cup of tea, listening and offering no judgement, to providing helpful and relevant information, and signposting colleagues to seek professional help or the support of family and friends.

Our role also extends to running bi-monthly Mastermind Sessions for colleagues. These are positive events which to date have covered topics like Resilience, Imposter Syndrome, and Work/Life Balance. 

And for those who don’t want to shout up right now, all  our OFR mental health support information is captured on a dedicated portal too, something we update regularly to ensure that it reflects ongoing matters and campaigns.  

These are additional support features that we are so lucky to have as OFR colleagues, and they supplement formal offerings such as private healthcare and a health cash plan. We are fortunate to have more than 100 colleagues all sharing a vision to do great work, but to check in on each other and protect our wellbeing in the process.

Sadly though, as reflected in this year’s World Mental Health Day focus, it’s not yet a priority for all, and that’s why campaigns like these are imperative in shining a light on the need for more universal support – ensuring that everyone can get the help they need. 

We’ll be learning from today’s campaign, listening as we expand our mental health offering and ensure that our people are protected even more in the future. 

Find out more about World Mental Health Day here


Katrina Speirs-Simpson


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