Talking about Brew Monday

Traditionally, the 3rd Monday in January has been referred to as the most ‘difficult day of the year’, as the hype of Christmas and New Year moves further away, the weather begins to bite down even colder and people fall back into their daily routines, with next Christmas the best part of a year down the line.

For these reasons, this rather miserable Monday in the year has been dubbed as ‘Blue Monday’, a day for people to take action on this wide-spread negative association and instead, try to focus on the positive, to take action and to make positive bold life decisions.

For some, it can be highly motivating to talk about their goals with people, to discuss other people’s goals and to get inspiration from those ‘go-getters’ in life. However, for others, this approach can be harder to take if they are struggling with their mental health.

‘Brew Monday’, championed by charity Samaritans, puts an interesting spin on the ‘Blue Monday’ trope, proposing that everyone gets together on the 3rd Monday in January for a drink, be it coffee, green tea or orange juice, “If you’re sharing a cuppa and listening, you’re doing it right.”

This is an opportunity for work colleagues, friends and family to get together and catch-up. This works especially well in offices as it’s possible many colleagues who work in the same building but not directly next to each other haven’t had chance yet to catch up properly after the Christmas break.

For this year’s Brew Monday, the team at MVIS and Bartco UK took a break and got together in the office for a cuppa to all catch up, have a good chat and for the recent new starters to get involved too.

Moments like this for our team are of high importance. They help to bring everyone into conversations that we may be having within departments and also help everyone to get to know each other in a group setting, which can make people feel more comfortable in one to one environments and conversations.

Within the MVIS / Bartco UK group, we place a high emphasis on our culture of inclusivity and communication. No one likes to see anyone left out of the conversation, so gatherings such as these help our team to feel more comfortable both within a group and on an individual level.

Ultimately, Brew Monday is an opportunity to listen. It helps to break down the physical and work related barriers that working in different departments or offices can bring about, and in doing so, it widens our friendship circle in a way that gives us all more people to rely on to watch out for our mental health.

As mental health awareness grows, we all have our bit to do to keep an eye out on those close to us, identifying signs of struggle and then to act appropriately in line with ALGEE mental first aid training if they start to open up to ensure that the right steps are being taken for their best interests.

Everyone at MVIS and Bartco UK takes this responsibility very seriously, so much that we are all ALGEE trained, so our team know what to do in the event that they find themselves in a position needing to use it.

Not only this, but we also have 2 qualified mental health first aiders on site in Rebecca Saint and Anne Ashman, as well as offering staff access to Peninsula’s EAP support if they require it.

Anne Ashman, UK Group Commercial and Operations Director and mental health first aider comments, “Participation in ‘Brew Monday’ is a small but potentially impactful way that employers can make it known that they are supporting their team’s mental health and inclusive culture. It also helps to emphasise our commitment to our team in general as it gives everyone a chance to chat and catch up, which is important to encourage as we come out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Taking part in ‘Brew Monday’ is something I would encourage all employers to do.”

For more information about Brew Monday, please visit the Samarians website

Useful Links and Support:
– Youngminds – Parents Helpline – 0808 802 5544
– Samaritans – Support Helpline – 116 123
– CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) – 0800 58 58 58
– NHS Mental Health Support – Advice on access to mental health services