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It’s been over one year since the start of the pandemic, and many are feeling more vulnerable, stressed, and burnt out. Whether you’re just starting to support yourself and your team members with their mental health or want to be more intentional, now is an excellent time to reassess your approach. We’d like to share a few ways to be more inclusive and equitable in supporting your teams’ mental health needs.  


Addressing mental health in your organization can start by determining your own well-being and capacity to support others; this will help you set realistic goals and better communicate with your people. 


Try centring your conversations around what people need and how you can support them. Many people “struggle” with mental health because they do not have access to high-quality care. This lack of access results from many ‘isms’ like racism, capitalism, and ableism, as examples. Because of this, it’s important to avoid using phrases like “mental health problem” or “suffers from a mental health condition.” Instead, name the issues that are causing these negative experiences and work to fix them.


Ensure that the type of mental health support you’re offering and how you’re offering it is inclusive. This is important because mental health is perceived and processed differently based on people's experiences and backgrounds. In North America, mental health is criminalized, weaponized, and stigmatized, resulting in some people feeling uncomfortable with traditional forms of care or feeling unsafe discussing mental health in the workplace. Take this into account when developing your workplace mental health support plan. 


Lastly, work to implement equity and justice in addition to mental health support. We’ve noticed some organizations offer mental health counselling as remedies to discrimination. While it is crucial to provide support to those experiencing discrimination, it is never up to those who’ve been harmed to create the solution; mental health support is not a substitute for policies, processes, and procedures that address the root problems. 


We’ve partnered with Inkblot, an accessibly priced online mental health platform, to help our team members access professional care and support. We encourage you to introduce discussions around mental health, provide equitable and intersectional support to your team members, and implement policies that allow people to receive the help they need. As a leader, it’s important to support others but don’t forget to provide the same kindness and support to yourself.

-Konstantina

Educate Yourself 📚

Improving mental health in the workplace means improving both company culture and policy. It requires paying attention to what’s going on in the world and your organization so that you can be attentive and helpful when people are struggling the most. Everyone plays a role in creating a supportive environment, and the mental well-being of people must be a team effort.  

The Ultimate Guide to Mental Health in the Workplace

Remove Stigma 🚫

Use your learnings to remove stigma through conversations with your team members. Try discussing mental health openly in meetings and daily discussions in a way that isn’t overwhelming or triggering. You might feel uncomfortable at first, so check in with yourself. The road to “normalizing” mental health is challenging and requires building trust slowly. You shouldn’t force others to be open, but you should work towards removing stigma.

Talking About Mental Health with Your Employees

Improve Your Communication Skills 💬
Improving your communication skills is another valuable way to remove the stigma surrounding mental health. The language we use to describe mental health matters contributes to creating trusting environments where team members feel safer about disclosing their mental health experiences. You might find it helpful to learn about intent vs impact and non-violent or needs-based communication to build stronger relationships and learn to advocate for others’ needs. 

The Language We Use to Describe Mental Health Matters

Beware of Late Stage Pandemic Burnout 🦠

Remember that people are burnt out and will most likely continue to burn out. Many of us have been facing increased loneliness, grief, and stress, for over a year. We must consider how these emotions and experiences affect us long-term and how our approach must change as the pandemic continues. Keep in touch with your teams, and make space for people to share how they’re feeling. 

Confronting Late-Stage Pandemic Burnout

Pay Extra Attention During April Holidays, Observances, and Celebrations 📅

April is full of celebrations, observances, and holidays! This means it’s also an excellent time to pay attention to people’s needs. Some team members might be celebrating, but holidays, observances and celebrations might also be a time of increased stress and loneliness. Check out our guide so that you and your team can better support each other on your special days.

An Inclusive Approach to Holidays, Observances, and Celebrations
Ten Thousand Coffees and TTM Technologies logos.

What we’ve been up to 🗞️

We’re excited to start working with TTM Technologies and Ten Thousand Coffees!

Digital Land Acknowledgement

Feminuity was founded on land that is the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat peoples and is home to many First Nations, Inuit, and Metis peoples.  

As a remote team, we encourage our team members, clients, and partners to reflect on colonialism’s enduring legacy and engage in reconciliation meaningfully. We encourage everyone to action the Indigenous learnings of this web page and this Indigenous Ally Toolkit by Dakota Swiftwolfe.

Creator Feature 🎨 

Aria Evans (they/she/he) is an award-winning, queer Toronto-based interdisciplinary artist working in dance, creation, performance and film. Aria draws on their experiences of being multiracial (Afro-Indigenous, setter) to capture meaningful social and cultural themes through their interactive art. Collaboration is the departure point to the work that Aria creates with their company Political Movement.  

Connect with Aria
P.S. If you’re having difficulty centring diversity, equity, and inclusion
within your organization reach out at hello@feminuity.org.
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