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Organisations in the City have joined forces in a campaign seeking to reduce the stigma around mental health in the workplace and dispel myths about mental health problems. On 7th February 2017, Dr Andrew Parmley, Lord Mayor of the City of London, was joined by over 130 attendees, to launch This is Me – in the City, a pioneering City-wide mental health campaign, led by the Lord Mayor’s Appeal at an event at Deutsche Bank, London.

This is Me - in the City aims to reduce the stigma around mental health in the workplace by encouraging employees who have experienced unmanageable stress and/or a mental health problem to share their story with colleagues via a video message or other medium. At the event, Beth Taylor, Mental Health Leader at PwC shared how she ran the campaign and showed their inspiring video which can be viewed here.

Statistics show that workplace mental health problems cost the UK economy over £26 billion a year through lost working days, staff turnover and lower productivity, with 3 in 4 employees having experienced symptoms of poor mental health, according to Business in the Community Mental Health at Work Report 2016. We need to break the stigma of mental health in the workplace, results from the biggest UK-wide survey, recently conducted by Time to Change, into the impact of mental health showed that 38% of respondents had been negatively treated as a result of their mental health problem.

The Lord Mayor’s Appeal created This is Me – in the City in partnership with Barclays, Business Healthy, City Mental Health Alliance and Mind, to change attitudes towards mental health in the City by getting organisations to collaborate and build inclusive workplace cultures around mental health and illness, reduce stigma, dispel myths and improve employee wellbeing for good.

In year one (2016), over 75 organisations signed up to the initiative with 22 organisations running their own This is Me campaigns and sharing employees personal mental health stories. Over 100 individual stories were shared with a potential reach of over 420,000 employees. The campaign also won a Disability-smart Award for Barclays and an Insurance Times Award for Aon who both ran their own This is Me campaigns.

Now in 2017, 17 organisations have joined forces as a committee to drive this campaign forward and to increase participation, with the aim of reaching over 1 million employees.

Dr Andrew Parmley, Lord Mayor of the City of London, said:

“It is just as important for organisations to look after the mental health of their employees, as it is to support their physical health.  ‘This is Me - in the City’ aims to breakdown stigmas and dispel myths around mental health, in order to improve our awareness and understanding of employee wellbeing.  Working environments in the City of London can be extremely demanding and high-pressured, and it is in the interest of both businesses and their staff to collaborate in order to change the culture around mental health for good.”

Paul Farmer, CEO of Mind, commented:

“Employees sharing their own experiences sends a message to other staff that they can do the same. As well as encouraging employees to talk openly about these issues, it’s also really important that staff are reassured that if and when they do speak out, they’ll be met with support and understanding, rather than stigma and discrimination. Getting involved with ‘This is Me-in the City’ should be seen as just one part of a wider workplace wellbeing strategy in which employers aim to tackle the causes of work-related stress and poor mental health, promote wellbeing for all staff and support employees experiencing a mental health problem.”

Register your interest in the campaign here.

Key dates

This is Me - in the City Roundtables: 

  • Tuesday 21st February at Bank of England
  • Tuesday 28th February at Linklaters (law firm specific event)
  • Monday 13th March at Aon
  • Tuesday 21st March at Credit Suisse (Canary Wharf)

Please register here to reserve a place at one of these events.