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Sarah on a mission to help businesses create ‘happier and healthier’ working environments with her CALM method

A woman whose own issues with stress and anxiety inspired her to help others is on a mission to create ‘happier and healthier’ working environments.

Sarah Markham, workplace culture expert and founder of CALM In A Box, says that businesses are at risk of losing talented employees if they aren’t equipped to support their mental fitness and wellbeing.

It comes after The Workplace Health report found that 35% of employees said that the stress they experience at work is having a negative impact on them.

Sarah, whose clients include Derbyshire Constabulary, St. Modwen, NHS Trusts and Nuclear AMRC, said: “Smart organisations recognise the need to look after employees holistically. They understand that you can’t run a business sustainably on traditional mindsets.

“Most people are juggling many different things like family life and work. Those companies who are progressive know that they need to support people to better navigate the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century workplace.

“Energy is our most precious resource. We need to create more conversations, build more communities that support mental fitness and harness energy; we need to be more effective rather than more efficient.

“To do well, you need to be well. Spiritual and emotional health, plus mental health, is just as important as physical health.”

CALM In A Box began in 2019 when Sarah, who has previously worked in Human Resources for multi-million-pound corporations, created a gift box for a friend who was going through a difficult time. The business has since evolved into a business that offers coaching, consultancy, workshops and experiences for companies going through cultural change.

Sarah, who has an accredited coaching qualification from Henley Business School and is also a proud member of the board of trustees at Derbyshire Mind, works with trusted associates to help create positive workplace cultures and understands that every business is different.

Her first clients were Derbyshire Constabulary who Sarah says were ‘perfect’ to work with.

“They were very open to material and I received a lot of great feedback from them,” said Sarah.

“We were all locked down due to coronavirus and there was a lot of turmoil. We were all working remotely and I developed a programme for them that helped at a difficult time.

“It gave me confidence in CALM and, after that, I realised that I could make a difference elsewhere.”

Sarah says that CALM In A Box’s unique selling point is a focus on creation using unique CALM tools and resources that have helped the likes of the University of Derby, charity Safe & Sound and St Modwen.

“CALM helps with teams going through change and our new CALM Design School – which sees us work with junior lawyers – can help the next generation have the right tools they need to succeed.”

Next month Sarah will host CALMFest; a week-long online festival that will take place during Mental Health Awareness Week.

Participants pay just £1 – with money raised going to charity Mind – and can access sessions on nutrition, gut health, sleep and yoga. Those already signed up include energy company edf, Nottingham Trent University, Mortgage Advice Bureau and the Welsh Local Government Association; a membership organisation that represents all 22 local authorities in Wales, the three fire and rescue authorities and the three national park authorities.

Sarah said: “Participants will be given daily challenges to help them feel calmer. There is a prize draw with some great prizes and we hope to run more events like this in the future, in our online CALM Hub.”

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