Mental Health Awareness Week UK 2021 – Managing wellbeing during the pandemic

Mental health and wellbeing, especially during these uncertain times, is at the forefront of everything we do as we continue to make our workplaces a safe and supportive place for employees. For this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week UK, we asked our employees to share how they feel they have been supported and managed their wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What have our caring employees said about lockdown mental health?

Employee wellbeing is more important than ever. Staying connected and supporting one another wholeheartedly is the key to maintaining a happy and healthy team. Here’s what the Devono team had to say about the importance of compassion when navigating the mutual hardship of lockdown mental health:

“As Head of People, employee mental health and wellbeing is something that is hugely important to me. Not just because it goes with the role, but because I have overcome my own mental health struggles, like so many people nowadays, and I have always empathised with those around me who have had similar lapses in maintaining their mental health and have a genuine desire to help others who are struggling. I believe that mental health is as important, if not more important than physical health, as physical health very often begins with a healthy mind. We should be talking about it and sharing with the same honesty we have about our physical wellbeing. Pre-COVID, I became a mental health first aider for Devono after attending an intense and incredibly valuable training course. It was just in time as now, employee wellbeing is more relevant than ever, after such a mentally challenging year, in both our personal and working lives.

Being a Mental Health First Aider means I can identify, understand and respond to signs of mental health concerns, speak to individuals about how they are feeling and point them in the right direction through one of our support portals, be it our Employee Assistance Programme or our private healthcare.” – Ruth Lynch, Head of People and Premises

“At Devono, we are guided by our Core Principles – Together, Respect, Integrity, Impact and Leadership. These principles are the behaviours and attitudes that we expect from one another and that have become a guiding force within our organisation creating an environment and culture where our people can thrive together. This also extends to our approach to mental health and the importance it plays in our private and working lives.” – Robert Leigh, Joint CEO

“For me; it was having the option to get out of the house and go to the office to help with mental health and wellbeing. The other way DC supported us, which I thought was great, was having regular catchups every week/every other week with Ruth, our Head of People and Premises, where she checked in and let me vent any frustrations (mainly with neighbours) that I had.” – Freddie Biss, Senior Consultant, Client Services

“We often underestimate and take for granted the power of togetherness and collaboration. So when the physical element of this is taken away and for those that thrive off of this interaction (myself included), it can be very strange and disorientating. At DC we made sure we kept the timing and frequency of those regular check-ins (albeit virtually) and asking that everyone has their camera on has ensured the team gets that much needed facetime. Whether it is has been the continuation of having Friday breakfasts together or giving colleagues an impromptu glimpse of my paint and furniture choices, it has kept us connected. Though we may not have been aware of it at the time, maintaining contact and not just for work purposes throughout the pandemic has ensured that part of our mental health has been nurtured. Ensuring that returning to the workplace is a celebration, rather than a cliff-edge experience.” – Shaun Dawson, Head of Insights

“Throughout the pandemic, DC has made efforts to support the mental health and wellbeing of its staff. From the pub quizzes every Friday in the first lockdown, which helped bring back some normality to the day and allowed everyone to get together and catch up, to the surprise of receiving treats in the post that would cheer you up for the rest of the day. It is also comforting to know that we have access to an EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) to help with mental health if we ever need it.” – Sophie Bluemel, Marketing Assistant

“The regular events scheduled with my colleagues throughout the pandemic certainly kept me going, such as set exchanges via TEAM’s video messaging and the daily Talksport 80’s music selection every day at 4.30pm with Shaun.” – Sham Khush, Finance Director

“The help and support that DeVono provided during the pandemic was very much welcomed, from weekly phone call check-ins to ‘virtual’ breakfast get-togethers and everything in-between.  Whilst still carrying out viewings, they provided me with equipment to carry out the viewings in a Covid secure way, whilst also providing suitable home working apparatus so that I could keep on top of my work.” – George Blakemore, Associate Director, Occupier Advisory & Consultancy

To know more on enhancing mental health in the workplace, read our blog here.

At DeVono, we offer an Employee Assistance Programme which gives our staff access to a 24-hour counselling helpline for mental health and wellbeing. Our Head of People and Premise, Ruth Lynch, is a Mental Health First Aider and constantly works on devising new ideas to enhance staff welfare. Most importantly, Ruth’s role has been vital for helping everyone come together when navigating the ups and downs of our tumultuous lockdown mental health crisis.

Throughout 2020 to now, our mental health awareness week ideas most notably included participating in staff-wide ‘Mind over Matter’ challenges and raising funds to support the charity, Mind, who work on mental health, and we are proud to support. To find out more about our challenges, or to donateGet creative when coming up with your own mental health awareness week ideas. Take the time to listen to others and always show consideration to how your colleagues may be feeling. 

If your business needs to discuss how DeVono can help with your future workplace strategy in the ‘new normal’, contact us at 020 7096 9911 or

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