1. Ruby Wax spreads her mental health message
3M Manufacturing
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    Ruby Wax spreads her mental health message

    October 31, 2017
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    Ruby Wax spreads her mental health message

    Comedian and campaigner Ruby Wax has taken her message about maintaining good mental health at work to some of the UK’s top employers at a 3M safety event.

    Ruby Wax spreads her mental health message

    Comedian and campaigner Ruby Wax has taken her message about maintaining good mental health at work to some of the UK’s top employers at a 3M safety event.

    Ruby Wax spreads her mental health message

    Comedian and campaigner Ruby Wax has taken her message about maintaining good mental health at work to some of the UK’s top employers at a 3M safety event.

    • Ruby Wax mental health event

      Ruby Wax is well known for her efforts to increase awareness of mental health issues within society at large.

      Now the actor has taken her message to some of the UK’s leading employers by addressing an audience of more than 120 health and safety professionals as part of a 3M Safety Network Live event held at the company’s UK head office in Bracknell, Berkshire.

      In her hour-long talk, Ruby, who has a Master’s degree in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy, said managers need to be trained to spot mental health issues and help employees feel comfortable speaking openly about them.

      She said: "It can be very difficult for a manager to recognise if a member of staff is mentally ill, unless he or she is trained to spot it.

      "Billions of pounds are lost every year by UK businesses as a result of mental health issues, so it would probably be highly beneficial for managers to really learn how to work with people who are dealing with these issues and make them feel safe to speak out about it without the fear of jeopardising their position in the company.

      "In this day and age - good luck saying it, if you put it on your CV that you’ve got a mental illness! People worry about holding on to their job. Removing this stigma would be such an evolved thing to do for your company."

      Ruby also explained the need for businesses to treat mental health and stress as seriously as other safety topics that affect employees’ physical wellbeing.

      She said: "If you keep the stress on stress on stress going, eventually it will burn down your immune system, and then you’re open to every disease going."

      As one method of addressing this, Ruby offered an interactive demonstration of mindfulness techniques, which she said were now being used by elite organisations such as the Marines.

      She said: "It isn’t saying ‘hello’ to your dishes before you wash them. It isn’t chanting a mantra to make sure you don’t come back as a cockroach. All it is, is noticing when those thoughts are getting carried away, when they are starting to get critical.

      "Mindfulness isn’t for everybody, but it is one way to cool your engines."

      3M has a wide range of personal protective equipment (PPE), developed over a number of decades, and launched Safety Network Live in 2015 to bring the UK’s top health and safety professionals together to learn more about workplace safety.

      Ruby, whose new book is titled ‘A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled’, headlined a distinguished line-up of expert speakers at the most recent event. They spoke about topics ranging from fall protection to creating a safety-first culture in the workplace. Between talks, 3M experts put on interactive demonstrations for visitors.

      Many companies have already adopted some mental health initiatives to help stressed and potentially vulnerable individuals, but after Ruby’s talk a number said they would look into the possibility of introducing wider programmes.

      John Cavaciuti, health and safety manager at construction giant Balfour Beatty, said: "The mindfulness techniques she used are something I will be taking back to the health and safety environmental team and running a workshop on.

      "I found it very useful, for occupational and personal use at home. The day has been fantastic. It ticked all the boxes."

      Vikki Randles, marketing manager for the 3M Personal Safety Division, added: "The event was a fantastic success and we are particularly grateful to Ruby for her involvement.

      "Mental health is rightfully becoming increasingly recognised as an important topic among health and safety professionals, along with the various other issues 3M has been helping to educate the industry about for many years. We are delighted that she was able to share her expertise at Safety Network Live."

       

      Watch highlights from the event