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BNY Mellon’s ongoing commitment to the mental health agenda, driven by Executive Vice President, Michael Cole-Fontayn, was demonstrated once again as they generously sponsored and hosted our fifth Power of Diversity breakfast this morning, discussing ‘Creating mentally healthy workplaces’ on Thursday 5th October. 

What our speakers said:

Chaired by Professor Sir Cary Cooper CBE, he additionally shared his expert insights on the subject – presenting the business case and asserting that not only is creating a mentally healthy workplace the moral thing to do, but it affects the bottom line. We also heard from Michael Heyworth, Executive Director at Coutts about how he and a colleague passionately pursued an overhaul of the attitude towards mental health in his organisation, dramatically transforming the results of the employee wellbeing survey in just 18 months with his ‘seven silver bullets’. Michael advocates that clear, measurable goals are the key to success in gradually changing workplace cultures and creating safer spaces.

Despite one in four people experiencing a mental health problem in any given year, many people feel scared and confused about confronting the issue at work and don’t disclose their condition for fear of reprisal, and the assumptions colleagues might make. Lyssa Barber, Head of Internal Communications & Employee Engagement, UBS Wealth Management shared her own journey with mental health, highlighting that, for her, talking about it candidly was not brave, but imperative.

What we said: This is Me - in the City

Finally, the breakfast looked at the hugely successful This is Me - in the City campaign is making a real difference to organisations and to those employees within them. The initiative helps change workplace cultures, reduce the stigma of mental health through storytelling and improve people’s mental health and well-being. If you have not yet registered, please do so here for a comprehensive ‘How To’ guide.

With the Lord Mayor, Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley in attendance, the session closed with a resource-rich Q&A between the audience and panellists, full of advice for tackling the stigma surrounding mental health in the workplace head on, followed by an opportunity for more informal networking with the This is Me – in the City steering group, organisations that have completed their storytelling through a This is Me – in the City campaign, and the speakers themselves. With over 60 attendees present, it was fantastic to see so many organisations willing to #endthestigma and we value your contribution enormously.

What our guests said:

"We employ people for their minds, so we must look after their minds." - Michael Cole-Fontayn, BNY Mellon

"Absolutely excellent event- I'm inspired- thank you."

Please find the full seminar programme here.

If you are interested in attending the final Power of Diversity seminar on flexible working, please contact us directly by either emailing diversity@thelordmayorsappeal.org or calling 020 7332 3777.

The full 2017 Power of Diversity Breakfast Series programme can be found here.

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