October is International Breast Cancer Awareness Month, making it an ideal time to raise awareness about this crucial issue at work. This potent catalyst for compassion can start with highlighting the courageous people in our midst and emphasizing the importance of assistance and solidarity. Understanding their challenges and offering support, including donations and practical help like hair services, uplifts the spirit and strengthens our workplace community.
We gathered for you some simple yet impactful breast cancer awareness ideas for work.
Promote preventative health screenings
Inspiring people to prioritize their health by promoting regular screenings and early diagnoses is a crucial step. These annual check-ups can be lifesaving, increasing the chances of timely intervention and less invasive treatments. Through educational campaigns, workshops, and open dialogues, we aim to dismantle barriers to seeking care and cultivate a culture of self-care in the office and at home. A recent global survey performed by Mindspace on employee wellbeing furthermore stresses how employees seek their employer’s support regarding health and wellness issues. Knowledge and awareness form the foundation of a healthier, happier, and more supportive workplace.
Taking it a step further, workplaces can also offer those screenings at the office by bringing medical professionals. This is a proactive and empowering option for people seeking their annual breast check. In certain healthcare systems where the wait times to see a breast surgeon can be excessively long, this initiative offers people the convenience of timely access to specialized care. This approach doesn’t only prioritize health but also reflects a commitment to making essential healthcare services more accessible and convenient for all.
Wear a pink ribbon or a pink bracelet to raise awareness
Wearing a pink ribbon to raise awareness is a well-known practice to show solidarity. Another simple, yet inspirational, accessory is a pink bracelet. Employees can embrace the symbolic pink bracelets with the support of management, creating a powerful display of unity and support. These bracelets serve a dual purpose: they raise awareness for breast cancer and act as a channel for donations and assistance for those courageously battling this disease. By wearing these pink bracelets, individuals not only initiate conversations about breast cancer, but also actively participate as advocates in a collective effort to fund research, treatment, and support services.
Donate to organizations that support cancer patients
Donating to organizations dedicated to supporting people battling cancer and aiding survivors reflects the compassionate spirit of global communities. These contributions offer direct assistance and a profound sense of solidarity to people navigating cancer treatment. Beyond medical care, they extend support to various post-cancer aspects, from fertility treatments to mental health support and education. Collaborating with country-specific organizations ensures that donations address local needs, strengthening the global network of kindness and providing resources for survivors to rebuild their lives after cancer.
Companies can effectively share a list of organizations supporting people with breast cancer among their employees through multiple channels. In today’s digital age, this information can be disseminated via newsletters, email communications, QR codes, or printed brochures in common areas or during relevant events, ensuring accessible support for all team members.
Throw a bake sale to raise awareness
The scent of freshly baked goods fills the air as colleagues and community members gather for this heartwarming cause. Hosting a bake sale with a pink theme in the office is a delightful way to raise funds and awareness for people battling breast cancer. These treats serve as a sweet conversation starter, emphasizing the significance of breast cancer awareness. The bake sale symbolizes unity and resilience, showcasing the power of a shared commitment to empower patients on their path to healing and recovery. Moreover, the company organizing the event can creatively highlight the color pink, recognized as the symbol of breast cancer awareness, by incorporating pink-themed decorations, artwork, and pastries to further engage and educate participants.
For example, Mindspace Zimmerstraße in Berlin served its members pink-frosted cupcakes to raise awareness.
Launch a wellness-dedicated week
Companies can play a pivotal role in raising awareness about breast cancer by dedicating specific periods, such as a month or a week, to the ‘wellness’ theme. During this time, they can organize informative lectures, workshops, and seminars focused on early detection of breast cancer, self-care practices, and providing support to those affected. This proactive approach not only educates employees about the importance of breast health but also fosters a sense of community and compassion within the workplace. By promoting awareness and offering resources, companies contribute to the overall wellbeing of their workforce while championing a significant cause that impacts so many lives.
For example, as part of this year’s Wellness Week, the Community team at the coworking space Mindspace La Guardia in Tel Aviv serves the members cookies with a specially printed QR linking to a website where people can easily schedule a health screening.
Initiate hair donations
Another way for a company to demonstrate its commitment and support is by introducing thoughtful initiatives, such as bringing in a specialized hairdresser for hair donations. This act of kindness goes beyond aesthetics; it boosts morale and self-esteem, allowing these brave people to feel more like themselves during a challenging journey. By offering a safe space where they can embrace their unique beauty, employees create a supportive and empathetic workplace environment that demonstrates compassion and solidarity.
Volunteer as a team
Companies can foster a profound sense of awareness and solidarity by organizing volunteer opportunities for their employees. For instance, volunteering in hospital departments dedicated to people battling breast cancer does not only deepens employees’ understanding of the challenges patients face but also turns employees into true ambassadors for breast cancer awareness and advocacy, promoting empathy and social responsibility. Such initiatives benefit the community and inspire a culture of compassion and collective action, reminding us of the importance of standing together in the face of adversity.
Organize an awareness event
Such a breast cancer awareness or fundraising event should have the symbolic pink color incorporated to visually reinforce the cause’s significance. Additionally, inviting inspiring survivors to share their stories provides hope and motivation, demonstrating that breast cancer can be overcome. Representatives from organizations supporting people battling breast cancer can educate attendees on the direct impact of donations. Moreover, having a patient share their journey in-person underscores the importance of early detection, emphasizing that awareness and timely screenings can be lifesaving.
A powerful and informative event fostering empathy, understanding, and support for the breast cancer cause at work and beyond. For instance, coworking spaces Mindspace Park Ofer East and Mindspace Ha’Bursa invite their members to lectures featuring the stories of breast cancer survivors, as well as the insights of dedicated nurses. These kinds of talks leave a lasting impression, and inspire strength and unity in the face of this challenging disease.
Educate your employees
One way for early detection is regularly performing a breast self-exam. Educating the office workers about the five steps for breast self-examination is an excellent option to raise awareness and encourage preventative health.
Here are five steps for checking yourself at home*:
1. Take a look in the mirror
Keep your shoulders straight and put your hands on your hips. Look at your breasts and watch for: unusual size, shape or color, and any changes in the nipple.
2. Raise your arms
Lift your arms and repeat step 1.
3. Look for signs of fluid
Check for any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples.
4. Feel for lumps while lying down
Check for breast lumps or abnormalities by feeling your breasts while lying down.
5. Feel for lumps while standing or sitting
Repeat step 4 while standing or sitting. You might find it more comfortable to perform this step in the shower.
To wrap it up, proactive wellness and wellbeing initiatives, especially when it comes to breast cancer awareness, are not just a corporate responsibility but a heartfelt commitment. Early discovery indeed saves lives, and the collective donations, care, and allocation of resources to support people in their battle or recovery from breast cancer are priceless. These efforts have the power to transform lives, providing strength and hope. By championing these causes, companies showcase their dedication to the employees’ wellbeing, reminding us all that together, we can make an extraordinary difference in the fight against breast cancer.
Written by Ofir Reder, Mindspace La Guardia Community Manager
*Five steps for breast self-exam – written by Lotem Manor, Mindspace HaMenofim Community Manager. Source: Breastcancer.org