Mental Health and Wellbeing – By Aline Gomes


Since qualifying as a Mental Health First Aider (MHFA) 12 months ago, I have been on a journey of knowledge building and sharing. I am delighted to have been part of the changing perception towards mental health in the work place.

Currently 1,037 organisations in the UK have signed the ‘Time to Change’ pledge, which demonstrates the organisation’s commitment to change how we support employees to maintain better mental health and wellbeing.

The stigma around discussing mental health at the workplace is slowly being lifted, driven by multiple Initiatives from government, charities and employers, like Arcadis, delivering training, such as growth mindset and health and wellbeing workshops and yoga and meditation sessions, in addition to training MHFAs, who are continually upskilling line managers as well as supporting employees. Arcadis have implemented these initiatives and more since signing the pledge in 2017.

We have welcomed CIRIA’s newly published guidelines for ‘Delivering wellbeing at site level’  and the CIEEM Summer Conference which is exclusively dedicated to Health and Wellbeing in the Ecology and Environmental Management Profession.

My personal focus and passion is on preventative measures by enhancing wellbeing and resilience using the ‘five ways to wellbeing and resilience’ that were identified following a study by the New Economics Foundation (NEF 2012).

CONNECT. To build real connections with those around you, to increase feelings of happiness and self-worth.

BE ACTIVE. What you do with your body can have a powerful effect on your mental wellbeing.

KEEP LEARNING. Your comfort zone is a cool place, but nothing ever grows there.

GIVE. However big or small the gesture, giving is like gold-dust for our mental wellbeing.

TAKE NOTICE. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Happiness is often right in front of your eyes, but if you are looking down, you won’t see the rainbow.

Although mental health is not a choice, mental resilience can be. By shaping how we respond to the external situations we are faced with, exercising our mental resilience through the ‘five ways to wellbeing’ is a journey that we can embark on every day.

I look forward to the upcoming CIEEM conference on 4 July and to continuing to grow our mental resilience community.

Blog posts on the CIEEM website are the views and opinions of the author(s) credited. They do not necessarily represent the views or position of CIEEM. The CIEEM blog is intended to be a space in which we publish though-provoking and discussion-stimulating articles.