25 June

We look back at Mental Health Awareness Week

Head of Programmes Matt Bentall looks back at This is Me's Mental Health Awareness Week campaign... 

We are now a month on from Mental Health Awareness Week 2024. This year’s theme was ‘moving more for our mental health’, with physical activity proven to improve mental health, quality of life and wellbeing (Mental Health Foundation 2024).

Despite this we know that 36% of Adults in the UK do not meet the World Health Organisations recommendations for physical activity. This raises interesting questions for many traditional workplaces where desk-based roles can provide a barrier to movement and activity for the workforce, who commit around half their weekday waking hours to being sedentary.

What we do know, is that workplace wellbeing remains a priority for organisations. For this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, our This is Me initiative once again sought to shine a light on the practical steps organisations are taking to support their most valuable commodity. All alongside our own MHAW activities as part of the This is Me campaign to #EndTheStigma around poor mental health.

We encouraged organisations to engage in a visible show of support for the ending of stigma around mental health through the wearing of the green ribbon, with a highlight being a powerful panel discussion hosted by the City of London Corporation where the audience collectively wore the green ribbon in solidarity.

Overall more than 10,000 green ribbons were distributed as part of this years preparation for Mental Health Awareness Week bringing the number of ribbons distributed to 284,000 worldwide since the beginning of the campaign.

In addition, organisations including PWC, BNY Mellon and Aon took to the streets of the city of London and beyond for green ribbon walks - taking time to connect with colleagues, catch up and discuss all things mental health and wellbeing.

For the Lord Mayor’s Appeal Team, it was an opportunity to walk past the offices of Standard Chartered who had adorned their ground floor windows with a huge green ribbon.

Showcasing a different forms of activity in support of wellbeing, The Lord Mayors Appeal Team and Edentree Investment Management took part in craft workshops, spending time as a group to switch off from the day to day whilst the chair of our This is Me Yorkshire steering group took time from her day to complete the green ribbon photo challenge, enjoying a yoga session at a local lake.

Elsewhere, Covery’s used the week as an opportunity to host a coffee morning, sharing personal stories and tips for managing stress, joined by the This is Me initiative manager Bethan Aspland who led the session.

This was complemented by an afternoon session based on storytelling with colleagues sharing their experiences in a supportive environment to encourage greater connection and solidarity with those around them who may have faced/be facing wellbeing challenges.

Participant Simon Jenvey said;

“Thank you for coming to talk to the team yesterday. I cannot recommend highly enough to my contacts. You delivered a session that inspired and sparked further momentum for discussion and action.”

Overall, the activities in which The Lord Mayor’s Appeal participated, organised or observed during Mental Health Awareness Week remain just a small sample of the ongoing work to improve workplace wellbeing in the UK.

Find out how you can support your organisation to end the stigma of mental health in the workplace here

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