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Breaking the silence and asking, what's behind 'I'm fine?'

Be intentional about checking in with colleagues

As we approach World Mental Health Day on October 10, we have the opportunity to reflect on what mental health means to each of us personally, and to the organizations we are part of. However, this topic is much too important to relegate to an annual awareness day. We need to make it part of our every day, and to find ways to celebrate, nurture and support the mental health of everyone we connect with.

That’s why, at Nokia, we chose to celebrate World Mental Health Day with the theme “What’s behind ‘I’m fine?’”, to encourage us all to dig deeper when someone says those familiar words and remind ourselves that often, what lies beneath the surface is more complex than we might imagine. We can all take steps to break the stigma associated with mental health and engage in meaningful conversations that go beyond “I’m fine”, to make every day a mental health day.

At Nokia, we recognize the significance of mental health in our employees' lives, and we are committed to creating a workplace that not only acknowledges but actively supports the mental wellbeing of our people through a culture of open, compassionate conversations.

Our People Strategy is a roadmap that guides us in our mission to put people at the heart of everything we do, and to create a workplace where everyone can thrive personally and professionally. Central to this strategy is the recognition that wellbeing sits very much at its core with a focus on keeping our people physically and psychologically safe, and working in a way that is balanced and sustainable for the long-term.

We understand that one of the first steps in addressing mental health challenges is creating an environment where employees feel safe sharing their feelings and concerns. We actively promote open dialogues about mental health within teams, and our ShareToCare Employee Resource Group brings people together to have open conversations about mental health by sharing personal experiences and making early emotional support more accessible.

Our colleagues are a powerful source of support and it’s therefore important that everyone is equipped to recognize when someone may be struggling. To that end, we provide training and resources to help our employees identify the signs of mental health challenges in themselves and their colleagues, empowering our teams to be proactive in offering support when it's needed most.

The Personal Support Service, our global employee assistance program, is available to all employees and their family members, providing access to 24/7 professional support in their local language. These confidential resources provide counselling and guidance, to ensure that our people are supported as they navigate difficult times.

Leaders at Nokia also play a key role, we expect all leaders to use our essentials of open, fearless and empowered to create a culture of support and psychological safety, enabling stronger, more resilient teams.

Mental health is not just a personal issue; it's a shared responsibility. By raising awareness and enabling open conversations, we take vital steps towards breaking the silence and stigma surrounding mental health, fostering an inclusive and compassionate workplace where everyone can thrive.

Let’s all be intentional about checking in with colleagues and engage in meaningful conversations that go beyond "I'm fine". All of us play an important role in creating an environment in which no one feels they have to say "I'm fine" when they're not.

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Kat  Gray

About Kat Gray

Kat Gray is the VP of Talent Direction at Nokia and sits on our Global People Leadership Team. She is currently based in London and joined Nokia in June 2023. For the last 20 years she has focused her career on building people strategy. She’s a deeply human, visionary leader that has led Global Learning and Development and Global Organization Effectiveness functions across a number of sectors including Retail, Media and Tech. Her passion and strongest credentials are in leadership, culture, employee experience, talent and development.

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