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Celebrating the importance of listening on World Mental Health Day

Updated: Sep 27, 2021

Published on October 10, 2020

Yesterday I had the pleasure of supporting Nugent, the largest education, health and social care charity in Liverpool by facilitating their first ever Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Listening Forum.

This important forum is part of Nugent's ambitious pledge on cultural competence. The listening sessions provide a 'brave space' environment for BAME staff to share their experiences of working in social care.

This includes how they have been feeling during 2020, as they have worked through the heartache brought on by the murder of George Floyd, the Black Lives Matter protests, and the vast media coverage on the disproportionate impact of COVID19 on front line BAME staff in the health and social care sector.

The first session really highlighted the importance of organizations creating a brave space for listening, sharing and connecting.

We all have mental health, and its important to have the ability to talk about our feelings in the workplace with trusted colleagues, as well as people in our personal lives. This acknowledges a person centered and values driven approach to employees. It is a commitment to helping people to build support systems at work which can improve mental health, wellbeing, and retention, particularly in these challenging times. It also provides a unique channel to capture ways in which improvements can be made by highlighting the experiences and views of staff.

One participant said: "It was space to be honest and open without fear of judgement. An opportunity to hear other experiences and I am getting to meet other colleagues from BAME groups who I can contact and talk to"

The listening session was eye opening, powerful, and an example of some great positives that can come out out of a really hard time in our lives.

Connection is key to our mental health and wellbeing and it's great to see employers increasingly acknowledging the importance of listening and understanding. You can find out more in the latest issue of Nugent Together Magazine

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