Mental health initiatives: a Mabanaft priority

Mabanaft places great importance on prioritising the mental health of employees, believing that taking care of its people is crucial to their overall well-being and job satisfaction.

mental health at work

In recent times, there has been a growing emphasis on mental health awareness, and Mabanaft has wholeheartedly embraced this movement. A company that recognises the significance of promoting mental well-being, Mabanaft has taken significant steps to improve its mental health facilities and support systems.

In this continuation of our series on the topic of mental well-being, Joanne Swift, who leads the mental health team at Mabanaft UK, shares more about the steps that have been taken.

“Our aim was to create a positive and fulfilling work environment where our employees feel appreciated and content, and to achieve this aim, in 2020, we formed a Global Mental Health and Wellbeing Team. All of our practitioners completed their Mental Health First Aid training through the accredited Mental Health First Aid England training board, and we now have an established and robust mental health initiative across the entire Mabanaft group, with several dedicated practitioners globally ensuring the well-being of our teams”.

Jo is joined by several dedicated practitioners comprised of volunteers from both the UK and Hamburg offices. They diligently support their colleagues and are all committed to creating a happy and motivated team.

Jo continues: “At Mabanaft UK, we focus on the mental well-being of our staff by offering a range of comprehensive support systems.

Our initiatives go beyond just acknowledging the importance of mental health – we actively work to support and empower our team members in their journey towards well-being. Whether it’s a listening ear or a helping hand, our team is always available to provide support and encouragement.

One of the ways we achieve this is through regular stress-relief days and events designed to promote enjoyment and happiness at work. Whether it’s celebrating National Fun Day or organising other fun activities, we aim to create a positive and uplifting atmosphere for our employees.”

In addition to these events, Mabanaft conducts online and in-person workshops focused on mental health awareness and well-being. These workshops provide employees with valuable tools, resources, and coping strategies to manage stress and improve their mental health. These online resources are invaluable as they ensure that employees can access support within and outside the workplace. Their significance has become even more pronounced since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, as they played a crucial role in assisting individuals during challenging times.

Meet our mental health practitioners

Joanne Swift is Executive Assistant to the Head of the UK and office management team and leads the mental health practitioners in the UK.

Why did you become a mental health first aider?

“I was so excited to join the team at Mabanaft as a first-aid practitioner as it’s something I’ve always been passionate about! I’m a very outgoing and friendly person who has always loved connecting with others and helping them out, whether they’re friends or colleagues.

That’s why I jumped at the chance to get trained in mental health support – understand that everyone can use a helping hand at times, and I knew that participating in this would give me the chance to help support people. It’s a role that really resonates with me, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to make a difference in other people’s lives.”

What is your top tip for good mental health?

“Prioritise self-care! This involves setting boundaries, practising mindfulness, and engaging in activities that genuinely bring you joy. Taking the time to focus on your individual well-being can make a world of difference in how you feel. I also think it’s important to remind people that they’re not alone and that there is always support available to them, just having someone to talk to can really help someone’s wellbeing.

If I feel a colleague is struggling, I will take the time to have a coffee and wait for them to share if they need to; taking the time for a ten-minute chat can make all the difference to someone’s struggle!

“Don’t hesitate to seek help when you need it, whether it’s from family, friends, or professionals.”

Matthew Zahra, who works in product control and business planning, is another essential member of the mental health support team at Mabanaft. Alongside Jo, he plays a crucial role in providing colleagues with the support they need.

Why did you become a mental health first aider?

”I wanted to improve my understanding of mental health to support myself and those around me better. This included learning about different mental illnesses, recognising warning signs, and gaining insight into effective ways to communicate and offer support.

“It was important for me to become involved as many men suffer in silence, and it is not always easy for them to talk about their struggles.”

What is your top tip for good mental health?

“Mental health is something everyone has, and we will all experience poor mental health at some point in our lives, some more than others. Recognising poor mental health and the factors causing it are the first key steps to improving mental health.

“Finding support through friends, family or professionals is also very important. Good mental health takes work, and you are not alone in the struggle. Talking with a trusted person about your state of mind can help you move from poor health to good health.”