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Wellbeing Lessons From a Neglected Honeysuckle

by Ngozi Weller

March 2, 2021

Three years ago, my neighbour bought a 50p honeysuckle from a clearance bin in Wilko. It was neglected and badly damaged, but she bought it anyway, with the aim of nursing it back to health.

For three years now I’ve watched her give this poor Honeysuckle all the water and plant food it could possibly want, I’ve watched her put in it a spacious pot, and place it in a prime sunshine spot in her front garden. And what happened? Nothing.

Yes, the plant got stronger, its leaves turned green and it stopped looking quite so pathetic, but it never flowered, not once, and yesterday (though it broke her heart to do it) my neighbour drove to the local garden centre and bought a replacement shrub.

As we were chatting about this riveting story over the garden fence today (oh the topics that lockdown boredom can bring on!) my neighbour remarked that she feared she was simply too late to do any good. The poor Honeysuckle had been neglected for so long, that, whilst with a lot of love and attention she could make it better, she had no hope of releasing its full potential. It would never flower. As she said this, the mental health advisory in me reared its head and thought how fitting an analogy this poor Honeysuckle could provide for our wellbeing.

You see, a key issue with most mental health support as it currently stands is that it seeks to intervene only once the damage is done. So many of us only get the support we need once we’re already at rock bottom, only after we’ve burnt out, or are in the middle of a major depressive episode. No one seems to notice that we’re struggling until we’re sat in the Wilko clearance bin, with a 50p sticker stuck to our head. This is too little too late.

The future of mental health support must be proactive, it must focus on building consistent support systems and educating the workforce to be aware of their own wellbeing needs. The only way that businesses can ensure that they are unlocking their workforce’s full potential, is to nurture them from the beginning. This means investing in education and support, particularly for its younger employees who have been severely impacted by the events of this past year.

When it comes to supporting workplace wellbeing, whatever stage your business is at, contact us to discuss how Aurora Wellness can assist your company’s wellbeing needs.

(The photo below is of my neighbour’s new plant. Unfortunately the Honeysuckle was thrown in the green bin before I could make it internet famous. Still I felt the story needed a visual, and well, a plant’s a plant!)

 

 

At Aurora Wellness we are all about mental wellbeing & productivity. To discover ways in which you can empower your people and maximise their full potential, contact us for information about our face to face and online mental wellbeing and productivity programmes.

I support HR and people managers with the tools they need to make managing workplace wellbeing for their employees easy.

Ngozi Weller,
Aurora Wellness