16 May

This is Me celebrates Mental Health Awareness Week

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This week, Rt Hon Lord Mayor, Alderman Peter Estlin, brought together business and charity leaders at Mansion House to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week and the impact of the This is Me initiative.

One in four people experience a mental health problem in any given year, yet the topic of mental health still carries a stigma in many organisations. This is Me, now in its fourth year, is committed to changing attitudes towards mental health by reducing stigma, dispelling myths and improving employee wellbeing for good.

75 organisations joined the Lord Mayor at Mansion House to show their commitment to putting employee wellbeing at the forefront of business.

The Lord Mayor of the City of London, Peter Estlin, said: “This is our fourth year running the This is Me campaign and we are delighted to have support from so many organisations from across the country to draw attention to mental health in the workplace. Despite mental health awareness improving, it is still considered taboo by a large number of employees and employers. We hope to change the status quo by encouraging employees to talk more openly about their mental health and share their stories with colleagues.”

Ruth Sutherland, CEO of the Samaritans, one of the three charity partners of the Lord Mayors Appeal, chaired the breakfast. Ruth highlighted the role of business as key in driving this agenda forward. “I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved thanks to our partnership with the Lord Mayor’s Appeal. Together, we’ve created the Wellbeing in the Workplace programme which is bringing Samaritans’ skills into the workplace, creating more open and supportive working cultures across the City and the UK. Employers play a crucial role in creating an environment where staff feel safe, supported and able to ask for help without fear of judgement. The Lord Mayor’s Appeal’s This Is Me initiative is making an incredible impact by changing attitudes and reducing the stigma around mental health in the workplace.”

Sir Ian Cheshire, Chairman of Barclays UK plc, and Chair of Heads Together shared his reflections of supporting mental health in the workplace both through the This is Me campaign, which Barclays initiated and through his role on the Thriving at Work Council.

Daisy Abbott, Programme Manager at Heads Together, followed sharing her personal story of supporting a family member with mental ill, which was the drive for the developing the green ribbon as a symbol of support at PwC, which was then adopted by the Lord Mayors Appeal as part of our This is Me initiative.

During Mental Health Awareness Week, This is Me raises awareness of the importance of supporting mental health in the workplace by asking organisations to show their commitment through going green and wearing green ribbons, creating a visible movement of support for ending the stigma around mental health.

This year iconic buildings across London turned green in support, including Houses of Parliament, Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, No 10. Downing Street, Tate Britain and the Bank of England as well as The National Theatre, BT Tower and The Guildhall. In addition, over 150,000 employees from 285 organisations across the country wore green ribbons as a show of solidarity.

The Lord Mayor's Appeal aim to work with more businesses and employees to change the culture around mental health in the workplace. To get involved and see how This is Me can support your organisation, visit:  https://www.thelordmayorsappeal.org/a-healthy-city/this-is-me/

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