Despite firm encouragement (that eventually turned into begging) from our Human Resources team, nobody wanted to come off of a remote schedule and get back into the office. Even in a post-pandemic world. Though HR and our CEO were becoming frustrated that we had no interest in returning to our office space, they eventually relented. They decided that instead of forcing us into a lengthy commute, they would appease our better work-life balance. But they would get creative when it came to employee engagement.
World Mental Health Day was on the horizon. Management and HR were hashing out plans for virtual event ideas for mental health awareness since nobody wanted to come into the office. They figured forcing us to do something we really didn’t want to do wasn’t great for our mental health. So they compiled a list of World Mental Health Day ideas and resources and sent them out via email. Along with a schedule of what we could voluntarily participate in for the office Mental Health Day event.
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Here are 10 inspiring World Mental Health Day ideas:
- A community event to create awareness and offer support
- Share mental health support messages on social media
- Host a virtual mental health game, workshop, or webinar
- Practice self-care and encourage others to do the same
- Start a mental health book club or discussion group
- Volunteer with a mental health organization or charity
- Encourage employers to provide mental health support for their employees
- Advocate for mental health policy change in your local government
- Reach out to someone you know who may be struggling with their mental health and offer support
- Start a gratitude journal and encourage others to do the same to improve mental well-being
We all had to admit we were pretty impressed with the virtual game schedule. It included options like trivia, lighthearted truth or dare, virtual twister, bingo, and more! There may have even been some regret regarding not going into the office. Still, when management notified us that we’d receive prizes and gifts in the form of custom, branded swag from SwagMagic and curated snack boxes from SnackMagic, we knew we had made the right decision.
Not only would we not have to go into the office, but we could still play games and receive prizes! It sounded like a win-win all around. And as the event grew closer, HR did a great job of hyping up participation. They sent out support emails focusing on mental health and how important it is to our company.
World Mental Health Day Celebration Ideas:
- Virtual conference with mental health resources, self-care items, and healthy snacks.
- Bake sale donating proceeds to charity with small gifts or thank-you cards for attendees.
- Virtual book club with a mental health-themed book or journal as a gift.
- Virtual art auction donating proceeds to mental health organizations with small gifts for bidders.
- Virtual gift exchange with mental health-related gifts like stress balls, meditation books, or inspirational wall art.
World Mental Health Day Themes
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- “Mental Health for All”: This theme focuses on the importance of making mental health resources and support available to everyone, regardless of background or socioeconomic status.
- “Living with Schizophrenia”: This theme highlights the experiences of those living with schizophrenia and aims to reduce stigma and increase understanding of the condition.
- “Suicide Prevention”: This theme focuses on preventing suicide by raising awareness, promoting help-seeking behaviors, and providing support to those who are struggling.
- “Mental Health in the Workplace”: This theme addresses the importance of creating a mentally healthy work environment and promoting mental health support for employees.
- “Young People and Mental Health”: This theme highlights the unique challenges faced by young people in relation to mental health and aims to promote early intervention and prevention strategies.
Though the management team didn’t exactly pick a World Mental Health Day theme, we were all looking forward to getting together virtually and perhaps, having a deep discussion or two, some awareness giveaways and playing some fun games. The week of our big event, HR sent out a message stating all of our snacks and swag had accidentally been sent to the office instead of to our individual homes. This was an error on behalf of accounting when the order was placed.
If we wanted our gifts and snacks in time for the event, we would have to come into the office to pick them up. Management sent out a specific time frame that items would be available for pick up. Since it was Swag and SnackMagic items, no one complained. Instead, we coordinated when we would go in, as we figured it would be nice to see each other in person again!
We arrived in our office parking lot, most of us simultaneously. Together we headed into the office for the first time in over a year. To our surprise, management and HR had a World Mental Health Day 2023 theme! Our shipping warehouse was now a giant mental health carnival, pony rides included.
World Mental Health Day Quotes
The warehouse walls were beautifully adorned with World Mental Health Day quotes. There were also small rides, plenty of games, and more food and drinks than we could have ever dreamed. We all received pamphlets with Mental Health Day quotes. We also received a voucher for a free therapy session from a well-known online provider.
Seeing World Mental Health Day ideas for work beautifully displayed in real life as a successful attempt to unite us all showed how much our management team truly cared. We were shocked at the heartfelt display.
World Mental Health Day Activities for Students
- Create mental health awareness materials like posters and social media posts.
- Host a virtual mental health workshop or webinar.
- Encourage students to share their mental health experiences through writing, art, or other creative projects.
- Organize a virtual mental health-themed movie night or book club.
- Host a virtual mental health-themed game night or trivia contest.
Our HR team was thinking outside the box, providing everyone with children some great ideas for World Mental Health Day activities for students and mental health activities for teens. There was a discussion regarding how important it was to employ mental health check-in activities for students.
Management even put together smaller swag and snack boxes for employees who had kids. As our event carried on, everyone was beginning to see that maybe they were missing out by refusing to come into the office entirely.
Mental Health Day at Work
Though many people take off work for mental health, it’s crucial to have a mental health day at work as well. Planning World Mental Health Day activities for the workplace showed our staff how much the corporate, HR, and CEO cared.
They sent the perfect World Mental Health Day message to employees just by being there for us and giving us a place to turn when in need. Our event included mental health awareness activities for the workplace and encouraged us to talk and engage like we hadn’t in a long time. Working from home is excellent, but it can also be lonely.
Fun Activities to Improve Mental Health
- Dance or movement therapy: Turn up your favorite music and dance or engage in movement therapy to improve mood and reduce stress.
- Outdoor activities: Enjoying nature by hiking, swimming, or even gardening can promote mental wellbeing and reduce anxiety and depression.
- Creative activities: Engaging in creative activities like painting, drawing, writing or music can promote relaxation and reduce stress.
- Play games: Board games, card games or even video games with friends or family can help to reduce stress and improve mood.
- Animal therapy: Spending time with animals like dogs, cats, or horses can reduce anxiety and promote mental wellbeing.
At our party, we played mental health games and activities for groups. We were winning prizes from the company SwagMagic store along the way. There were many resources boasting fun activities to improve mental health. Including activities such as a meditation coach and a local running group.
Our boss printed out a mental health games and activities PDF that she handed out to everyone upon departure and encouraged us to come into the office now and then. There wouldn’t always be ponies, but there would definitely be a full vending machine.
Work and Mental Health
We all had so much fun seeing each other again that we did start coming into the office a few days a week. While we didn’t all keep the same hybrid schedule, we found the office a little quieter, which meant we were more productive overall.
Management was thrilled, and our boss kept her promise of a fully stocked vending machine. She also continuously gave out items from our SwagMagic locker, so we would come into work and never know when we would get a gift, which made the drive a bit more bearable. It was nice to be back in the office, even if it was occasionally!