It has been widely circulated that employment in the events industry is demanding, and not without reason. Being ranked the fifth most stressful job in the world, event organisers are in charge of ensuring their events run without a glitch and are held accountable if not, resulting in mounting pressure from venues, suppliers and clients.
emc3, an events agency based in London, is actively doing more to improve mental health wellbeing in the sector, starting with improving their own corner of the industry. Introducing a new policy that aims to outline fresh guidelines, rules and advice, the company hopes to ensure employees gain a better understanding of mental health and how best to deal with it.
The policy includes the introduction of ‘mental health days’ whereby employees may take days off if they feel they are mentally unwell, just as they would if they were physically sick. This will allow employees the freedom to express their reasons behind taking time off, discourage employees from feeling they need to hide their true illnesses and let employers know that particular employees may be struggling and therefore offer more support.
Alongside the new policy, emc3 is also introducing mental health first aiders to the company with the aim to have at least one on all levels of the company. Kyna Thompson, the Senior Producer and Account Manager, is the first employee to take the mental health first aid course.
She commented: “The course teaches you to recognise the signs of someone who is struggling with their mental health and to initiate a conversation. It also gives employees an elected person to approach if they need to talk without feeling awkward.”
Describing the course itself, Kyna explained that she learned the importance of confidentiality and the ability to encourage mental health wellbeing in the office.
“The course really gives you a different outlook on different mental health issues. It also made me consider how to handle certain situations in a more compassionate way – if I have to deliver bad news or be stern with someone, I feel better equipped to do it in a more understanding way.”
Founder and CEO of emc3, Alistair Graham commented: “As event management is consistently in the top five most stressful occupations in the world, it is imperative that we recognise this and develop an internal mental health policy to support our global team.”
emc3 has 31 employees across London and Boston, USA, who were each presented with a PowerPoint to inform them of the new policy and support system being integrated into the company. This presentation also explained the various symptoms of ill mental health, statistics of its impact on personal and work life, and what the company is doing to help support employees.
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