18 July

Why I wear the Green Ribbon: Jodie Hill

Advertising, forever the mainstay of marketing strategies. Be it a catchy jingle, a well-placed billboard or an amusing TV advert, the aim is to capture something from us - be it our custom, our time or our interest.

The Lord Mayor’s Appeal Green Ribbon, with its visible show of support for those suffering with poor mental health and a commitment to ending the stigma around mental health, is perhaps our nod to Guerilla Marketing. A symbol that pops up in places where you might not expect it; on the tube, in the lift or on the jacket of a colleague.

For our latest series on the Green Ribbon, we sat down with Jodie Hill, Founder of Thrive Law and Chair of the This is Me steering group in Yorkshire.

In 2017, I had a breakdown. I had suffered for quite some time with anxiety and panic attacks. At the time I did not know that this stemmed from undiagnosed PTSD. My workplace was very target driven and not somewhere that encouraged conversations about wellbeing. Looking back, I probably lacked some self-awareness and was surrounded by people that were the same. There was no one to identify any unhelpful behaviours or to encourage self-care.

I took a period of sick leave for the first time ever, after about 4 years, and ultimately felt I had no option but to leave my job to focus on my recovery. A very hard decision when living alone with a mortgage to pay. Harder still was the loss of purpose. I loved being a lawyer, I was doing something I had aspired to do since I was a young girl but I knew the environment I was in was making me ill.

After a while I began to work again, but not as an employee. Instead, consulting for firms and I felt that fire in my belly again, supported by the fact I was working on my terms and around my mental health. I looked at returning to a firm on a permanent employed basis but could not find somewhere that felt right, like I would not be walking back into the environment that had been a catalyst to my breakdown.

Ultimately I took the leap and founded my own firm, an organisation where wellbeing comes first and we can all bring a version of ourselves to work that we are truly happy with. My mental health is part of what makes me who I am and has become a driver in the success of my organisation

I wear the Green Ribbon because it can show others they are not alone, but perhaps as importantly, it can stimulate interest. For those that may not know what it represents, it prompts a discussion, a train of thought. It can be the stimulus for that first conversation, one that helps them, or better equips them to help others.

Thinking back to when I first began to struggle, who knows what a little bit of well-placed advertising could have done for me.

Find out more about The Lord Mayor’s Appeal This is Me initiative including the Green Ribbon Campaign here

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