Winning Minds Matter, this week and every week

Sinead O'Connor

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‘Winning Minds’ is Nelson Bostock’s company ethos. It guides us to deliver the best work we can for our clients. It means we are bold and ambitious, experiment with different tactics, and explore diverse and new ideas.

It helps shape our agency culture, so we can all be the best we can be. It means we focus on training and coaching so our people can learn and develop new skills. It gives us a North Star to come back to when celebrating successes.

It also means we prioritise mental well-being. Our team of Winning Minds are smart, creative, collaborative, and emotionally intelligent people. And their Winning Minds matter to us. So much so, we’ve got a working group – appropriately named Winning Minds Matter – dedicated to ensuring we continue to prioritise well-being at work. The team is made up of people from across the agency, in different disciplines and levels of seniority.

Ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW), I asked the group how we should honour it this year. Set up by the Mental Health Foundation, MHAW takes place every May to encourage people to think about mental health, tackle stigma, and find ways to protect our mental well-being.

In 2021, the theme was nature, so we ran a photography competition to get our people enjoying outside spaces. Last year, we switched to the written word and created a poetry e-zine against the theme of loneliness.

This year the theme is anxiety, something that impacts millions of people in the UK every year, yet still holds a huge amount of stigma. We brainstormed as a team what we might do to increase people’s awareness and understanding of the topic.

There are lots of studies that identify a connection between colouring and relieving anxiety. So we took a bit of time out of our week to create a collage which will now sit proudly in our office as a reminder of the importance of prioritising mental health. We also held a quiz which raised money for Mind so others can get the help they need.

But perhaps even more important was our #AnxietyStories initiative.

Through opening up the conversation, we quickly realised how many of us have experienced anxiety, in different forms, in our lives.

So this week, some brave people across our business have been sharing their stories of living with anxiety. The aim was to break down barriers, trade coping mechanisms, and create a safe space where we can be honest and open with each other.

The impact has been far greater than we had expected. It’s not only raised awareness of a mental health issue, but also brought us closer together as a team.

I’m proud of the individuals who have shared their experiences, and proud to work in a business that cultivates a culture of belonging all year round.

After all, Winning Minds matter, this week and every week.