Tuesday 10 October is World Mental Health Day, with a focus on mental health in the workplace. There are loads of resources out there to encourage employers to take responsibility and offer support to their employees to achieve better mental health at work. Such as this guidance Managing Mental Health in the Workplace by the Mental Health Foundation.
Here in Southampton, this #WorldMentalHealthDay we are meeting up with other social enterprises at a gathering organised by the Solent Social Enterprise Zone. Social enterprises are businesses with a social or environmental mission, and therefore put health and wellbeing at the centre of their business model. As responsible employers, many work with a broad spectrum of people and can be particularly welcoming and supportive of people with mental health challenges. They often give people volunteering opportunities, which can operate as a route to build confidence and learn new skills, always ensuring that the profit from trading is redistributed to address a social or environmental need.
In Southampton, places and projects such as Creative Options, The Art House and Aldermoor Community Farm are doing wonderful things around mental health and wellbeing, and generally helping to build a sense of community in Southampton. These just three of the places we value in Southampton, and through our project we’ll be telling you about more.
Social enterprises are providing real life solutions to mental health issues, and will continue to work to do this better, to do more. 63% of repeat prescriptions are for anti-depressants. Engaging in an activity that has purpose, is known to help, and has the added benefit of reducing demands on the NHS. So check out your local social enterprise. If you don’t know where your local social enterprise is, then come to our Social Saturday MapJam being held at October Books in Portswood Sat 14 Oct 11am-3pm. If you are already connected with social enterprise, come and tell us what is special about it. And if you can’t join us in person, join us online.
As well as individuals shopping at social enterprises, organisations can also purchase their goods and services from social enterprises, thereby investing in social and environmental good.
Let’s work together to address mental health in our communities, and support social enterprises to do more too.