Mental Health & Me - Dave's Story

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Across all three of our Hutch studios in London, Dundee and Nova Scotia, Canada, the mental wellbeing of our staff is really important. To mark Mental Health Awareness events across the world in May, we're sharing some stories from Hutchies on what wellness means to them. And today it's the turn of Dave, a Senior Programmer at Hutch Canada in Nova Scotia... over to Dave!

What's your role?

I'm a Senior Software Engineer for the TNT team in Canada. I primarily work on our server stack implementing APIs and dashboards with Java and Javascript libraries. And I've been at Hutch for exactly 4 years!

What do you do to maintain your mental health? 

I do various things to maintain my mental health, here's what works for me:

  1. Transcendental Meditation twice a day

  2. Meditation

  3. Badminton or tennis twice a week

  4. Walking the dogs

  5. Spending quality time with the kids and my wife

  6. Being kind to other people

What does mental wellness mean to you?

To me, mental wellness means I can function without a cloud hanging over me, living in that moment without distraction. When I talk to my kids, and I can't remember what they said to me, I know I am not in a good place, I'm not being mindful and it's usually because my mind is not well, it's spinning, thinking about something else. Mental wellness is being present, happy in that moment, no matter what you are doing.

Any tips on how to look after your mental health in the workplace?

Keep moving, and talk to people. I make sure I stand up twice a day to work, and I answer my emails in the kitchen. Staying in the same spot, staring at the same problem is not a good idea. Get up and move around, grab a tea, and have a 5 min chat with a workmate. Show interest in them, ask how they are, if there is anything you can help them with. Be a present, solid member of the team.

How does Hutch support your mental health?

We have membership to Spill, an online therapy service. It's fantastic because you can ask instant questions, and you also don't have to wait too long to get a 1-2-1 session. Hutch also has a culture where there is no shame in saying you are having a mental health issue, or you need a mental health day. Hutch has created an environment and culture where you feel safe, no matter what your mental health looks like.

Is there anything that’s specific to the Nova Scotia studio?

We have a meditation room, which can be locked. Sometimes you just need to escape, and having a place to do that is great. Canada in general is very open-minded about mental health, that combined with the environment at Hutch makes work days more manageable even when you're not feeling your best mentally.

Thank you to Dave for sharing his thoughts and tips. We've gathered some handy links below if you're like to read a bit more about mental wellness.

Useful links:

If you’re struggling with your mental health:

How to help others:

The power of mindfulness:

Mental health related games and apps:

Wellness at Work:

Mental Health Awareness Week:

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