Written on 10 October, 2022

It is estimated that one in four people in the UK will experience poor mental health every year. Nonetheless, for some companies, mental health in the workplace is still often typically perceived as nothing more than the elephant in the room. Employees don’t feel able to open up to their managers when struggling with their mental health for fear of being stigmatised or discriminated against, undoubtedly resulting in them suffering in silence.


Thankfully, this is becoming less frequent as employers are going to great lengths to raise awareness and normalise conversations on mental health proactively debunking any common misconceptions employees may have. Put simply, workplaces that are open and supportive benefit the employer but more importantly the employees and Surrey Translation Bureau (STB) is no exception to this.

Mental wellbeing at Surrey Translation Bureau

STB has adopted a plethora of different strategies to help manage wellbeing in the workplace which include promoting wellbeing for all STB employees and supporting them experiencing mental health issues at any time. It goes without saying that staff wellbeing is at the heart of STB so much so that there are two fully trained Mental Health First Aid Champions. Essentially, they function as points of contact and are responsible for promoting healthy minds across the entire workplace.

It is vital that all employees are aware of how and where to access support. STB employees are regularly signposted – through internal communication channels such as email and posters – to hints and tips for boosting overall personal wellbeing. In addition, they can have access to an Employee Assistance Programme in which they can seek free and confidential advice on work and personal issues alike.

Mental health challenges in recent times

The talk around mental wellbeing gained further momentum in the last couple of years with many of us having to work in isolation or in not-so-ideal workspaces. At STB, we created a guide about remote working that emphasises the importance of clear and regular communication. It also encourages many positive actions, including having a set routine and workstation, dressing up for the workday and doing some relaxing activities such as meditation.

Throughout the recent period of remote working, STB held initiatives to keep staff morale high with drop-in online coffee breaks, remote baking challenges, photo campaigns that drove team engagement and even a remote Christmas quiz. The team were supported in completing remote working and return to work wellness action plans, and managers listened carefully to any thoughts and concerns via targeted employee satisfaction surveys. Once we returned to the office, team leaders were encouraged to organise team building activities as a means of strengthening team relationships and getting to know newer team members after the long run of remote working.

Positively purple

Following in the footsteps of previous STB events to support our own mental health and that of the freelance linguists we work with, in March, we ran a series of activities to promote positive mental health. These events tied in with the excellent initiatives run by two fantastic organisations – Woking Mind’s #positivelypurple day on Friday 18th March and Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England’s My Whole Self Day, also on Friday 18th March.

We believe that it is really important to have open conversations around positive mental health, so we have been really pleased to align with these campaigns and raise awareness of the ways in which employees can support their own mental health, especially when working from home.

When it comes to mental wellbeing, there isn’t one solution that works for everyone but at STB, employees are supported and a culture has been fostered where mental wellbeing can be openly discussed and cared for.

If you need any support with your mental health or would like to talk to someone, please contact the following great organisations:

Mind: https://www.mind.org.uk/

Mental Health Foundation: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/getting-help

Mental Health Training for employers: https://mhfaengland.org/

Written by Ruth Parkin and Chloe Jones