The [M]enable mental health movement explained

The [M]enable mental health movement explained

As part of PMF’s investigation into the subject of mental health, one that we hope will motivate conversation and build courage amongst those struggling, we spoke with Stephen Whitton, who founded [M]enable, an organisation that supports wellbeing in the automotive sector.

“People perform well when they feel good about themselves! However, in a world that is a challenging place with lots of uncertainty and insecurity – and with the stresses, strains and anxieties of working in our very performance driven sector – it’s easy to see why the automotive industry can contribute to higher levels of mental health problems.

“The sector is still very male dominated and traditionally, men have not been encouraged to show emotion or share feelings – this leads to a culture of either expecting issues to be ‘sucked up’ and dealt with or things being kept as ‘internal thoughts’ creating a very lonely place for anyone struggling! This is not purely the domain of men, of course, and fortunately the many women who work in our industry who are or have also suffered, are often role-modelling the behaviours needed to make these conversations more acceptable.

“When we started [M]enable, an industry leader said to us that we are providing a solution to a problem the industry doesn’t perceive it has! This caused us to reflect – a lot – and create an approach that is about raising awareness and educating leaders and managers that showing vulnerability isn’t a sign of weakness and that teams will open-up when the culture and environment is right – this is where they (leaders) need to have the skills to know how to support people and when/how to refer to other organisations as necessary – whilst creating an environment where the team member doesn’t fear judgement or detrimental consequences. “So, we’ve changed the language to further remove the stigma and silence that exists around mental [h]ealth and replaced it with the more positive, progressive view of improving everyone’s mental [w]ealth.

[M]enable mental health 2

“Talking about mental health brings up imagery of darkness, misery, depression, anxiety and stress – areas that, traditionally, managers are not equipped to address; however, talk about mental [w]ealth, and we come from a place of support, care, compassion, growth and fun. These are areas where we can all support each other! But, achieving this involves culture change, and this is where it can conjure up further fear and insecurity, because we often stick to what’s familiar!

“But, like we’ve said, people perform well when they feel good about themselves – and that involves knowing they are part of a progressive and forward-looking business that’s focused on their mental wealth as they understand this is key to business wealth.”

For more information about [M]enable, click here.

Related posts