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Today, the Lord Mayor of City of London, Charles Bowman, launched This is Me 2018, a pioneering City-wide mental health campaign. Led by the Lord Mayor’s Appeal, the campaign seeks to end the stigma around mental health in the workplace and support employees to talk openly about their mental health.

This is Me will encourage employees who have experienced unmanageable stress and/or a mental health problem to share their story with colleagues.

In 2017, the Green Ribbon campaign, run during Mental Health Awareness Week, was created as a visible sign of support to not only raise awareness of issue, but also contributing to ending the stigma and creating more inclusive workplaces.

Charles Bowman, 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. 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.

“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.  Mental health is a City-wide priority and it is imperative that organisations focus on it and This is Me is a fantastic way of doing just that.  Together we can #endthestigma.”

The Lord Mayor’s Appeal created This is Me 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 to improve employee wellbeing for good.

In support of getting more Londoners talking about mental health as a citywide and UK-wide priority, This is Me has joined forces with Samaritans, Time to Change and Thrive LDN, the citywide movement to improve mental health, led by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

  

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:

“It is important that London’s employers open up discussions around mental health in the workplace and, in doing so, help end the stigma. I’m pleased that Thrive LDN, the citywide movement for better mental health, has partnered with the Lord Mayor’s Appeal to support ‘This is Me’, helping employers to change attitudes and build happier workplaces. As Mayor, I want London to become a more open and tolerant place where people can speak openly about their mental health and get the support they need.”

 

Success so far

The campaign has already made a phenomenal impact with many participating organisations saying it has been the most impactful diversity & inclusion campaign ever run. In a recent survey carried out by The Lord Mayor’s Appeal, 83% of organisations said it had had a positive impact on the number of conversations in the workplace, changing attitudes towards mental health and reducing the stigma and 72% of organisations have noticed an increase in the number of employees disclosing mental health issues and seeking support.

Now in its third year, the campaign already has over 280 organisations registered, both in the corporate and public sectors. The Lord Mayor’s Appeal’s mission is to double this by the end of 2018 and potentially reach over 800,000 employees across the City, London and beyond.

Wellbeing in the City

The launch event at The Mansion House also saw a preview of Wellbeing in the City, an initiative developed through a partnership with Samaritans, which supports our aim to create more inclusive and supportive workplaces. Inspired by Samaritans’ hugely successful partnership with the rail industry, which has seen a significant reduction in suicides, the initiative includes an innovative new online wellbeing programme specifically for the City. The easy to use tool will bring Samaritans’ expertise to the workplace, focusing on listening skills, support skills and wellbeing. This potentially life-saving programme will be available in April and organisations and individuals are able to register their interest now.

Ruth Sutherland, CEO of Samaritans said “We’re delighted to be giving those at the launch of ‘This is Me’ a preview of our innovative new online learning programme. Our aim is to give people the skills to help themselves and others, creating a whole network of support in the workplace. By doing this, we’ve got the best chance of reaching people before they hit crisis point. Listening can save lives.”

To register your interest in the Samaritans online programme, visit www.samaritans.org/wellbeinginthecity

Thriving at Work

The recent Thriving at Work Stevenson / Farmer Review highlighted the clear business case for this vital issue, showing that the annual cost to employers is between £33 billion and £42 billion, with over half of the cost coming from presenteeism – when individuals are less productive due to poor mental health in work and with additional costs from sickness absence and staff turnover.

The review, undertaken at the Government’s request and intended to galvanize employers to create a ‘breadth of change’ across the UK workforce, recommends six core standards for employers – of which the This is Me campaign addresses three.

To find out more about This is Me, The Green Ribbon Campaign or Wellbeing in the City, please visit here.