London office features ‘mental health gym’

Global Business

This Tuesday was World Mental Health Day. It seeks to raise awareness of an issue that is still often taboo – or not taken seriously enough.

So what if working through emotional difficulties and stress at work was as common, or as easy as popping down to the gym? Well that’s the aim of a new service in one London office.

CGTN’s Olly Barratt reports.

The modern workplace is changing. And one London office is trailblazing the prioritizing of mental health with access to coaches in a ‘mental health gym’, a space where the workers can go for regular sessions to work on any issues they might be facing.

“Mental health is part of all of us. We all wear our mental health in some way. Let’s just talk about it like we do our physical health, you know. There’s no shame in going for a run, or doing yoga in the park, so wht not talk about your mental health in a glass box,” Sanctus founder James Routledge said.

Sanctus work with a growing number of businesses in the U.K. and mental health is an issue increasingly talked about out in the open in Britain – with Prince William leading campaigns for more public discourse. But one recent U.K. survey found three in four people had experienced symptoms of poor mental health at some point while only 11 percent of workers had discussed mental health with a line manager at work. And research by the Centre for Mental Health suggests the cost of mental health to employers in the UK could be as high as $35 billion a year.

Those that are using the mental-health gym say it’s invaluable.

“It’s not just for when things are unmanageable, and you’re trying to just get back to being yourself, it’s about kind of intervening along the way, to keep things ticking over, and hopefully it’s a preventative measure rather than a cure,” says Sanctus user Victoria Lloyd.

Sanctus have a vision to put a mental health gym on a British high-street – to take this concept mainstream.