Moving From Symbolism To Substance

The conversations initiated by mental health days are more critical than ever, especially in the context of rising numbers of people in the UK struggling with depression and anxiety. This year’s ‘World Mental Health Day’ theme, “Mental Health is a Universal Human Right,” highlights the importance of seeing mental well-being as fundamental.  Thrive in Mind’s social media calendar, like many others, is filled with important dates and occasions. On Tuesday our LinkedIn feeds will be full of mental health posts which are liked and shared.    These symbolic gestures are undoubtedly important, but they raise a crucial question for those of us who are deeply committed to making a difference: Are we doing enough?

It is easy to understand the allure of symbolism and why gestures often replace concrete actions.

People tend to prioritise actions that are visible and easily shared. Posting on social media or participating in a public event provides instant recognition and validation.

We are influenced by what others are doing. When we see others engaging in symbolic gestures, it reinforces our desire to follow suit.

Symbolic gestures offer immediate emotional satisfaction. When we engage with symbolism we can temporarily avoid the discomfort of not taking any action at all.

Whilst there is a pull toward symbolic gesturing there can also be a fear of committed action. Taking meaningful action involves a psychological commitment that can be daunting as it is laden with responsibility, uncertainty, change and increased risk that it will not work out.

Many of us are strong advocates for meaningful change in the workplace.  We know that the mental well-being of our employees isn’t just a tick box exercise and that our employees aren’t only affected by their mental health for one day of the year. Mental health matters because people matter, and we have a profound responsibility to look after our employees every single day.

So let’s move towards committed, sustainable action together, in the knowledge that even small steps can have a big impact. If you would like some help with changing things for you and your staff, come talk to us today. At Thrive In Mind, we have the expertise to bring about real change in your organisation. And, if it’s good for people, it’s good for business too.

Moving From Symbolism To Substance
Scroll to top