10 May

Why I wear the Green Ribbon: This is Me Steering Group

To celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week from 13-19 May, we're recognising this year's theme of Movement by encouraging small daily movements for mental health and supporting organisations to encompass this into their wellbeing strategies.

The Green Ribbon, and its symbol of support for those suffering with poor mental health, will be at the centre of our MHAW activities: the Green Ribbon Walk and Green Ribbon Photo Challenge. 

To further mark the occaision, we've created a very special 'Why I Wear the Green Ribbon' bringing together the This is Me Steering Group. 

Chris Mack, Programme Manager, Community Business (Aisia) 

Growing up in a culture and society where engaging in mental health conversations is taboo and stigmatised can feel isolating and pushes people into the dark when it comes to living with their mental health challenges and conditions. What the Green Ribbon means to me, is that it acts as a silent message, a symbol that says “I’m here to listen, I’m here to talk, I understand that mental health is something we all experience and that it is normal to experience the impact of mental health both positively and negatively”.

I wear it because it shows the society that I am willing, able and wanting people to feel that they can talk. I have personally experienced someone come up to me and comment on the Green Ribbon on my backpack and felt comfortable to express that they feel less alone when they see someone who is an ally and advocate of talking about mental health. That’s what the Green Ribbon means to me and that’s why I wear mine proudly, every day.   

Jo Cole, Senior Data Engineer, UBS 

I know all too well how difficult it is to talk about poor mental health. My son has schizoaffective disorder and it came as a great shock to us when we found out. I want to break down barriers and lift the stigma, so others are able to talk openly about their mental health and get the help they so desperately need. 

Wearing the Green Ribbon signals to others that I’m happy to hear their story, I’m willing to listen and that they are not alone. The most difficult challenge is feeling that nobody else is going through what you are going through and that you are the only one.

The world is a difficult place to navigate and we all need to know we have allies and we are not alone.  if this enables one person to find the courage and speak up, then it should be worn every day, everywhere. Wear your Green Ribbon and #endthestigma  

Alan Rankin, Diversity & Inclusion Lead, Sellafield 

I started wearing the Green Ribbon in around 2018 - remember when everyone actually went into work and interacted with other people every day? 

It was mainly to signal my support to the This is Me campaign, and to raise awareness and reduce stigma around mental health in my organisation.  It was a conversation starter and people used to ask me about it, and we could start a chat about wellbeing.  I always kept a few in my pocket and handed them out!  

I would ask everyone who I had a conversation with to also wear the ribbon and have a conversation themselves.  I’d asked them to reach out to five people, and ask those five people to reach out to five more.  I am not great at maths but if everyone followed through on that – that a lot of wellbeing conversations! 

Time has moved on and remote and agile working has made wearing the ribbon every day perhaps less immediately impactful, but you can replace it with screen backgrounds for Teams calls, footer logos for your email and there are a range of “virtual” Green Ribbons you can use as the need to reduce stigma and show support is still as needed as ever. 

To me the Green Ribbon is symbolic of my organisations journey on mental health and wellbeing, and its as important to me now as it was back in 2018.  

Tilly Lewis, Senior Marketing Manager, BoxClever Consulting (Yorkshire This is Me) 

The Green Ribbon isn't just an accessory; it's a symbol of my support for colleagues, friends and family navigating mental health challenges. Witnessing their resilience fuels my passion for mental health advocacy and drives me to confront the stigma surrounding it. Wearing this ribbon is a simple yet profound gesture, showcasing my dedication to standing by those in need. 

As an advocate, the ribbon becomes a visible emblem of my commitment to raising awareness and fostering understanding around mental health. It serves as a reminder of the impact our efforts can have on individuals and communities, offering hope and resilience in the face of adversity. 

Beyond its symbolic significance, the ribbon represents my personal journey with depression and anxiety. It serves as a tangible reminder of the importance of prioritising mental wellbeing and encourages open, honest conversations about mental health. 

By wearing the Green Ribbon, I aim to ignite meaningful discussions, break down barriers, and cultivate a more supportive and inclusive environment for everyone. It's a small token with a powerful message, inviting others to join the conversation and embrace the importance of mental health in our lives. 

Rebecca Eaton, Head of Occupational Health and Wellbeing, Cadent 

There is still a lot of stigma and fear about mental health that needs to change, I wear a Green Ribbon as it symbolises the ‘green light’ to talk about mental health and offer better support for people’s mental health. I also want to champion a more positive approach to mental health, rather than focussing on mental ill health we should focus on promoting positive mental wellbeing and enabling everybody to thrive.

The Green Ribbon is a symbol of this positivity and moving forward approach.  It also shows that it matters to me, and is an act of solidarity to show that I care and prioritise mental health support for everyone.    

Laura Sartin, Head of Health, Safety and Wellbeing UK, Aon 

I proudly wear the Green Ribbon all year round to show people that it is important to take care of our own mental health. I hope wearing the Green Ribbon will start a conversation or just quietly let people know that I am an ally, I understand that sometimes people need a friend, someone to listen without judgement or to help them figure out a way to get some help if they need it.

The Green Ribbon is a symbol of support for people who might be struggling and one of awareness for those who haven’t yet realised how important it is to prioritise their own mental health and how it is connected to their physical health and overall wellbeing.  

I hope that talking about mental health will become as normal as talking about physical health. Talking can help us to process our feelings and help us to heal, so wearing the Green Ribbon is an important symbol of support.  

Mark Dugdale, Marketing Manager at Thrive Law and a This is Me Yorkshire committee member 

The Green Ribbon campaign is a powerful symbol of support and awareness for mental health. For me, wearing it stands as a visible commitment to fostering open and supportive conversations around mental wellbeing. 

I wear it because it shows I'm taking a stand to de-stigmatise mental health in the workplace and beyond. It signals a willingness to listen, support, and encourage open discussions about mental wellbeing, creating an environment where individuals feel safe to express themselves and seek help without fear of judgment. 

The ribbon also serves as a conversation starter. It is an opportunity to spread awareness about the importance of mental health, educating others on its impacts and the need for a compassionate, inclusive approach to support one another. 

Find about more about This is Me Mental Health Awareness Week activities here

Get your Green Ribbon here

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