As we begin Mental Health Awareness Week, we feel that it is important to share ways in which Darling Associates Architects works to reduce stress for our team.
According to mental health charity Mind, at least one in six workers experiences common mental health problems, including anxiety and depression.
At Darling Associates, we acknowledge the strains and pressures that can come with working in the architecture industry. Our policy is to equip our team with the right tools to overcome potential issues and create a culture that supports staff to be open about their mental health, from the top down.
Our working environment has been fine-tuned to encourage personal and professional growth for every team member and more recently our priority has been to focus on our team’s mental health and to provide support where it is needed.
“The most important step is to communicate to people that you care. It’s the first step to encouraging people to come forward to talk about their problems. Practices need to make it clear to employees that they are concerned and will be sympathetic.”
Virginia Newman, RIBA ambassador for equality, diversity and inclusion
Since 2017, we have formalised a Mental Health + Wellbeing Action Plan that sets out our agenda for dealing with mental health across our studios.
Following on from this, Darling Associates Director Liz Moran has worked hard to establish the Darling Associates Mental Health + Wellbeing Policy. “We want to raise awareness about mental wellbeing for every member of our practice” says Liz, “and for our team to become aware of maintaining their wellbeing and mental health in the same way they would with their physical health. For us, we feel it important to be proactive, rather than reactive to our team’s health requirements.”
How we look after our team
We continually strive to create a harmonious work/life balance and to respect each and every employee and their individual requirements. We have outlined a brief overview of some of the support services we provide to improve and maintain the overall health and wellbeing of the team at Darling Associates Architects, which we distribute to our every member of our team.
Some of these initiatives include:
On the last Friday of every month, we get together as a practice to have breakfast and discuss important wellbeing issues
Mental Health First Aiders
In-house support is on hand to spot the symptoms of mental health issues, offer initial help and guide people towards support if required
Employee Assistance Programme
Our external employee assistance programme is designed to help staff confidentially deal with personal and professional problems
Healthy Food + Fresh Fruit
A free healthy breakfast is provided every morning, along with fresh fruit delivered daily