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Data collated through the This is Me Annual Survey in Summer 2018 demonstrates that sharing employee’s mental health stories helps organisations to accelerate their progress and transform organisational culture around mental health and its attached stigma.

According to the recent BITC Mental Health at Work 2018 Report, employers have made huge strides in both awareness and action, however the job is far from done. The reports states that just 16% of employees felt able to disclose a mental health issue to their manager and 61% of employees have experienced mental health issues due to work or where work was a related factor. The good news is, This is Me can help and is already making a huge difference in organisations across the UK – and we have the evidence to prove it.

Measuring This is Me’s Impact
Thanks to anecdotal evidence, we know that participating in This is Me is a significant factor in addressing mental health and wellbeing in the workplace - we know organisations are noticing the impact of This is Me Storytelling, whether it is the reduction in long term sickness, the increase in the number of employees returning to their roles, or the increase in conversations about mental health in the workplace. However, it is crucial that we can measure its impact to help validate it as a genuine tool for organisations to reduce stigma, dispel myths and build inclusive workplace cultures.

Ten measures (see below), based on Time to Change Principles and the Thriving at Work 2017 core standards, have been embedded into This is Me and outlined as a tool to monitor the success of the campaign and measure organisation progress against over time. To have an open culture, organisations should be addressing as many of these measures as possible.

The measures are:

  • Senior level buy in
  • Accountability
  • Raise awareness
  • Implement policies
  • Equip line managers
  • Signpost to support services
  • Share personal experiences
  • Have a mental health at work plan
  • Promote healthy work life balance
  • Routinely monitor employee wellbeing

This is Me and storytelling accelerate progress, here’s the evidence…
The graph below shows the number of organisations addressing 7 or more of these measures at different stages along their journeys of the campaign (collected in the This is Me Annual Survey). Assuming that addressing 7 or more of these measures is a relatively good score, we can use this to see the progress of organisations towards creating inclusive cultures around mental health.

Graph: Percentage of organisations addressing 7 or more measures at different stages of This is Me Storytelling.

Just 15% of organisations are addressing at least 7 of the 10 measures at point of registration of This is Me (where we measure the benchmark). Yet data collected from the This is Me Annual Survey 2018, shows that 73% of organisations that have shared employee stories are addressing 7 or more measures, compared to only 30% of organisations that have not yet shared employee stories. This evidence clearly demonstrates that storytelling is the most powerful tool for culture change.

This is Me Storytelling helps organisations take activity to a more advanced level
What’s more, the survey data shows that sharing employee stories through This is Me can help organisations address the more advanced measures including implementing mental health policies, equipping line managers to have conversations about mental health and monitoring employee wellbeing. Around 15-20% more organisations that are sharing stories were addressing these measures compared to organisations that have not shared stories.

This evidence shows that organisations are able to address mental health within the workplace more seriously and effectively through storytelling. With 100% organisations surveyed in 2018 agreeing that their This is Me campaigns have made a positive impact on changing attitudes towards mental health, the number of conversations around mental health and dispelling the myths and furthermore, 96% saying it has made a positive impact on reducing the stigma, we anticipate storytelling playing a key role in creating many more mentally healthy workplaces over the next few years.

Key dates

This is Me 2019 London Lauch, Wednesday 6th February 2019