This week marks the start of this year's Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme for this year is 'Kindness'. In our regular series, Five Minutes with, we're catching up with our Mental Health First Aiders from across dentsu to hear how they're adjusting to the life working from home and their hints and tips on how to stay mentally healthy in the current climate.

Katie Camenzuli, Managing Partner, Performance Solutions at iProspect shares her thoughts on why it's important to have a mentally healthy workplace and the need for Kindness.

As a Mental Health First Aider, why do you think it’s so important to have a mentally healthy workplace?

I believe we do our best work for our clients and for our own personal development when we're working collaboratively with a positive attitude. Ensuring a mentally healthy workplace allows us all to learn and flourish. Ensuring a work-life balance that works for you as an individual, plus having open honest conversation with a peer, line leader or a Mental Health First Aider will ensure the workplace is a positive and enjoyable place to be. We all need to take responsibility for how we act in the workplace to ensure we're having a positive effect on others. 

The theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is Kindness; why is it so important to check in with each other now more than ever?

Treat others how you wish to be treated, not just in the current turbulent times but always. Kindness goes such a long way in forming and developing relationships both with colleagues and outside of the workplace. I believe it's important to step into one an others shoes and have a level of emotional intelligence to understand other perspectives in addition to your own. 

Now more than ever it's important to check in with those we love. They will be missing you just as much as you're missing them. Think about how you can be kind to others in this time from offering to collect supplies for someone more vulnerable, to simply listening to a friend or family member. If we can all learn to be kinder to each other during these current circumstances then something positive will of come from a challenging time. 

If you could give one tip to someone who is finding it hard to adjust through current changes, what would this be?

Be kind to yourself and focus on 1 day at a time. Soak in the things you're grateful for and try to do a little something for yourself each day. I'm a working parent of 2, navigating my way through homeschooling, pre-schooler tantrums and a busy work schedule. I'm ensuring that I carve out time to walk my dog in an open field or do an online exercise class everyday and I feel so much more energised as a result.  

Drop the guilt. Set realistic goals for the day and don't allow yourself to feel guilty. You might not be able to dedicate as much time to home schooling, self development or exercise as you would like to today, that's ok. You and your family coming out of this period safe and happy is more important. 

I personally don't think about how long this period will last. I take each day as it comes and concentrate on the here and now to avoid feeling overwhelmed. 

Lastly talk. Talk to friends and family, we all need to maintain our connections and interactions albeit virtually with all those we love right now and I bet they need it just as much as you.