In the old days (a year ago), we started meetings with safety briefings. ‘When you hear the fire alarm, safety officers will direct you to the nearest exit, …’ etc. Our physical safety was paramount. Our smoke detectors were our early threat detectors – our warning signs of trouble.
It is safe to say we have just experienced a COVID global veld fire of note.
We admirably prioritised our physical safety. Our psychological safety not so much.
Loss of lives, livelihoods and lifestyles are leaving us fragile and broken. A pandemic of burnout and mental health challenges is looming. The smoke may look different, but the fumes and toxins are no less debilitating. The signs are as visible – we just are not looking for it.
We need new smoke detectors, new safety briefings, new safety officers. Our workplaces can be physically safe but still be psychologically toxic.
The past has let go of us. It is time we let go of it and create new rituals that prioritise our physical AND mental wellness.
Let us do more to keep each other psychologically safe.
Well futures require well beings!