Lavinia Jarrett, Acting CEO on World Mental Health Day

People often say the most precious and important thing is their health – health is wealth, after all.

The pandemic has resulted in so many of us take a review of what’s important in our lives. At Demelza supporting mental health and wellbeing is critical, and to do that we must create a culture that 'it's ok, to not be ok’.

We all have mental health, it’s a spectrum. In a healthcare organisation, we are professional caregivers and one of the most important things for us is resilience; it’s the analogy of putting on your own oxygen mask first, should they drop down, when you are on a plane before you help anyone else.

Whatever role anyone plays at Demelza, whether we give direct care, or our support roles making the direct care possible, our work can be emotive and difficult.

We want to adopt a culture where it is ok, to not be ok, and to feel able to say so. We have access to mental health and resilience training; we will be launching a Wellbeing Hub that centralises all the resources available; we have listened to your responses in our surveys and have built a Wellbeing Strategy. This work will never be finished as we will continue to build these support mechanisms, and others, based on your feedback.

Through our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), all Demelza colleagues can access specialist support 24/7. You don’t have to pay, it’s totally confidential and there are no waiting lists. This is amazing support there for you because Demelza employees deserve it.
There are so many things that impact our mental health. Here are a few top tips that might help. If you have better ones that work for you tell all your colleagues, or better still tell us so we can tell everyone.


A short walk can give you headspace. You can power walk or have a stroll. Walk to the shops, around a Demelza site, or around your garden. If you are sitting at a computer screen, this is essential. If you are in a busy shop or care area, this is equally important to re-balance and adjust for the remainder of the day.

Sunshine/daylight and fresh air

Just like exercise, this will invigorate you. You may think you do not have time, but after just a 20 break you will be more productive and efficient – so it is worth the investment; you are worth the investment.

Keep hydrated

People often underestimate the importance of water. 70% of our body is made up of water, and 80% of our brain. Have water with you at all times.

Get some good rest and relaxation

We all know that R&R is incredibly important and getting a sufficient amount helps us mere mortals cope with the strains of life. Working flexibly is very different to working very long hours. To work flexibly should offer a good balance between our various competing responsibilities and needs. Working long hours isn’t helpful and you will be less productive, and less efficient over time. Demelza has a fantastic group of staff that are incredibly willing to be flexible with their hours, particularly at busy times. However, there has to be a balance with additional hours being taken back as per our TOIL policy.

Take control: choose your reaction

One of our greatest freedoms is how we react to things. Getting stressed, upset, angry, rude or snappy doesn’t help you or anyone around you. Only you can choose how to react to things. Talk things through with your line manager, ask for support from your line manager to re-prioritise your workload if necessary.