Loving Unmind: Christine’s story
This is why at Virgin Media, we believe in supporting our people to thrive. We have a variety of great tools and benefits that offer guidance so they can feel their best self and get support when they need it most.
For Mental Health Awareness Week, we wanted to focus on one great benefit we have – Unmind. Unmind is our mental health platform that empowers our people to track and manage their mental health using the tools, series and insight available. The Plus One feature within Unmind also enables our people to gift access to one friend or family member to support them too.
We caught up with Christine Waterworth, Wayleave Officer, to find out how Unmind has been helping her.
I’ve been with Virgin Media for nine years. Around ten years ago, I had a breakdown in my old job and found ways of coping. So when I came to Virgin, straight away, I’ve been very open and honest about my mental health. In the last 12-months, I struggled a bit because I lost my mum, and we were compressed. It just got a little bit too much. Things have since been put in place through work, which is fantastic. My manager is absolutely spot-on, and then when Unmind came out, it was something different that helped.
Learning about Unmind through a colleague
I received an email about Unmind and thought, “It’s just something else for us to read, something else for us to do.” But I spoke to a colleague who told me, “it’s easy to use; you just have to download it to your phone. You don’t have to go through everything the first time, just take little snippets out and use what you think is beneficial to you.” She said, “you might not use everything, but pull out what you need.” So I started doing that, and it’s been great.
Starting to use Unmind
Sometimes when you’re in a dark space, you’re not in the mindset to explore a new app. But given that someone shared it with me, I thought, “alright, I’ll give it a go,” and now I’m slowly working through everything. For example, I found a brilliant sleep tool helping me calm before I get to bed.
Sharing the Unmind experience with others
Workwise, I’m a bit like a mum. Everyone comes to me with issues because I’m the old person on the team. When they talk to me, I have encouraged other people to use the Unmind app.
I shared it with my husband, who has finally downloaded it too.
Sharing Unmind with her husband
My husband has been my rock through my mental health journey. He’s pretty old-fashioned, but I told him to try out Unmind, as it might help with his sleep apnea. I said, “It might have something for you, for example, the sleep sounds that will help you drift off easier.”
Last night he was going through it and said, “I can see what you mean now.”
He has now also mentioned Unmind to one of the lads that work, and they’re going to have a look into it as well. (Husband also works for VM)
On the pandemic
I love my job, love what I do, love the people I work with. I just miss being with people, having a talk. It would be easier to be in person. When you are in the same room, you can be a bit more perceptive of how people are feeling and acknowledge something is wrong.
What would you say to colleagues about looking after their mental health?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s not a failure to ask for help. At the end of the day, you’ve got to look after everything, you can’t just look after work. You have to look after yourself as a whole person.
I like the Daily Boost. When I’m feeling a bit flat, I just go in and listen to that. I also like the stories and the relaxation music. Based on how you feel, you can go in and pick a quick tool that fits. I like that you don’t have to go in too deep or have to spend hours and hours on it. You can just fit it in whatever time you’ve got. And you should make time for yourself anyway.
When do you use Unmind?
I’ve built it into a bit of a routine. I use Unmind in the morning and just before I go to bed. I’ll get into bed and have a look to see what’s in there.
What would you share with Virgin Media employees regarding taking care of their mental health?
Don’t be afraid to give Unmind a chance. Give it a go; you will find something in there that will fit into what you need. Don’t be frightened of opening it up and exploring it.