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Mental Health Awareness Week 2021: Tackling the stigma

Posted: 13/05/2021

Penningtons Manches Cooper is proud to support Mental Health Awareness Week 2021. The aim is to raise awareness of mental health issues in the UK, with a focus on how to achieve good mental health.

As part of our programme of activities for the week, we wanted to host an event that specifically targets the stigma of talking about mental health in the workplace.

We arranged for Jodie Hill, founder of Thrive Law to speak about her personal experience of recovering after a breakdown and how this life-changing experience led her to set up her own law firm at the age of 29.

Jodie shared her story with an inspiring degree of openness and honesty, highlighting the significant challenges she has faced and the different techniques and approaches she has used – and continues to use – to overcome them.

She discussed some key principles and actionable advice that both businesses and individuals can adopt to protect mental wellbeing. In the workplace, the central importance of creating a culture of openness cannot be overstated: it helps reduce the stigma that can still exist and can be invaluable in encouraging those going through a tough time to seek help. Sharing personal stories in a supportive and open environment can significantly help this process, as she highlighted when explaining the rationale for her current campaign, which focuses on the power of storytelling. Jodie also spoke about the power of vulnerability, how mutual respect underpins a supportive, open environment and how daily self-care can be crucial in managing your mental wellbeing. An example of self-care might be to take time out in nature – the theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week.

Mental health is something we’re very passionate about as a firm, so when the pandemic introduced new pressures, we responded to the need for additional mental health support.

Our wellbeing and inclusion programmes, which bring together a wide variety of mental health and more general wellbeing initiatives, have responded swiftly and creatively to deliver a huge volume of support and activity to help people manage their mental health. This has included:

  • one on one support provided by our Mental Health Champions
  • monthly ‘Wellbeing Wednesday’ and ‘Feel Good Friday’ sessions focusing on our four pillars of health: mental, physical, financial and social wellbeing
  • regular wellbeing ‘drop-in’ sessions on Zoom, hosted by our Mental Health Champions
  • organised walking competitions to promote the link between physical and mental health
  • virtual mindfulness sessions
  • the relaunch of our mental health community hub with lots of useful resources and support, including tips and guides
  • introduction of a Yammer community to enable people to have a safe virtual space to share and talk to each other
  • ‘Happy News’, a publication populated by content from our colleagues across the firm

As a firm, we will continue to strive to provide a working environment that actively supports mental health and wellbeing for our people.

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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP