On Tuesday 4 February 2020 The Lord Mayor’s Appeal welcomed over one hundred attendees to Mansion House for the launch of This is Me 2020.
This is Me is a pioneering mental health initiative that aims to change attitudes towards mental health in the workplace and support organisations to create healthier and more inclusive workplace cultures, improving employee wellbeing.
It does this by providing employers with the tools they need, through three initiatives. It helps raise awareness through the Green Ribbon campaign, creating a visible movement of support for ending the stigma around mental health. It aims to end the stigma and open up the conversation through This is Me storytelling, which encourages employees to share their lived experience of mental health. It also builds employees’ skills to manage their own mental health, support their colleagues and feel confident to have conversations around mental health, through the Wellbeing in the Workplace e-learning tool, developed in partnership with Samaritans.
Rt Hon The Lord Mayor of the City of London Alderman William Russell introduced the session, and the late Lord Mayor Alderman Peter Estlin and Caroline Wright, CEO of The Lord Mayor’s Appeal signed the Time to Change pledge and encouraged organisations in the room to do the same, highlighting how This is Me is a tool that organisations can use to achieve their own Time to Change pledge and/or Thriving at Work standards.
Key partners were in attendance including Barclays, PwC, Time to Change, Mind, City Mental Health Alliance, Mental Health First Aid, Mind, and Heads Together, as well as attendees from the This is Me regions, including This is Me Scotland, This is Me North West, This is Me West Midlands, This is Me India and This is Me West Yorkshire, who will be launching this year.
Sue Baker OBE, Global Director, Time to Change spoke about the importance of good mental health in the workplace. Susanna Winter, CSR Manager at, Baker McKenzie LLP, spoke about their involvement in the Green Ribbon campaign. Philippe Guijarro, Partner at PwC and part of the Steering group for This is Me Scotland, shared his lived experience of mental health. Also speaking was Sonya Woodside, Benefits Specialist, EMEA & Pan Asia, Janus Henderson about their This is Me storytelling campaign. Adam Spreadbury is a Senior Manager at the Bank of England, and in 2012 he co-founded the Bank’s Mental Health Network. He spoke about his experience in implementing Wellbeing in the Workplace at the Bank of England. Finally, Robyn Vernon-Harcourt, Senior Programme Manager, The Lord Mayor’s Appeal shared the impact of This is Me and the support available for organisations.
To date, over 800 organisations have registered for This is Me, with almost 300 organisations sharing lived experience through This is Me storytelling; over 330 organisations participated in the Green Ribbon campaign in 2019, seeing over 170,000 Green Ribbons being worn across the UK and buildings lit green across the city including; Houses of Parliament, Tate Britain, Cabinet Office, National Theatre, Bank of England, BT Tower and many businesses; and over 900 individual organisations to date are using the Wellbeing in the Workplace tool, with almost 10,000 employees having completed the training. From The Lord Mayor’s Appeal’s 2019 annual survey, which surveyed over 200 organisations: 94% of organisations agreed This is Me had increased their employees’ awareness of mental health and 83% of organisations said This is Me had a positive impact on reducing the stigma around mental health in the workplace.
It’s important. Over a third of the UK workforce has experienced mental ill health, costing the economy £45 billion a year, with presenteeism costing an additional £30 billion a year. Yet half of employees would not feel comfortable speaking to their manager.
Feedback from the event was excellent. Everyone surveyed agreed the information presented at the event was useful, and 97% said they were likely to recommend This is Me to other organisations.
It was an opportunity for businesses to learn from and be inspired by other businesses who have delivered the programme in their workplace, and share how The Lord Mayor’s Appeal will support and encourage organisations to commit to supporting mental health in their workplaces in 2020 and beyond.
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