Employers from across the North West will come together to wear green ribbons this week in a new drive to end the stigma of talking about mental health in the workplace.
Businesses including Barclays, Manchester Airports Group, PwC, Sellafield and United Utilities along with football clubs and mental health charities make up some of the organisations coming together to demonstrate to their employees that it is important to talk about mental health.
This is Me will launch in Manchester on today (Monday 14th May) to coincide with the start of Mental Health Awareness Week.
A launch event will take place at the Hilton Deansgate with guest speaker Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, who supports the campaign.
This is Me challenges the stigma around mental health at work and aims to break the culture of silence by supporting people to tell their own stories.
The campaign was created by Barclays in association with the Lord Mayor’s Appeal in the City of London and this is the first time the campaign will be launched outside the capital.
Karen Johnson, head of large corporates for Barclays in the North West said: “Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year and by 2030 the estimated cost of staff mental health related issues is set to rise to £32.7 billion.
“As responsible businesses we all have an obligation to get involved and take an active interest in the wellbeing of our staff whilst creating environments where those in need can get the help and support required both now and in the future.”
Mayor Andy Burnham said: “Good mental health is fundamental to all our lives – an essential and precious resource that needs to be protected and enhanced.
“That’s why I’m pleased to be supporting This is Me, which is now being rolled out across Greater Manchester – showing once again how we are leading the way by being the first city region outside of London to adopt the campaign.
“In Greater Manchester, we know that poor mental health has a huge impact on the quality of people’s lives.
“It also presents a major challenge to increasing business productivity. For these reasons, improving workplace mental health plays a key role in our ambitions for improved wellbeing and growth across the city region.
“For responsible employers in Greater Manchester and the North West of England, this tool offers a vital opportunity to normalise conversations about mental health, build an open and supportive culture, and contribute to the health and happiness of their workforce, allowing them to thrive.”
Christine Meakin, a female Director at Barclays in Cheshire, suffered from stress and exhaustion back in 2014 and feared that she’d never return to work.
She said: “I never thought I’d be someone who’d suffer from anxiety or stress – I thought I was too strong”, explained Christine. “But the reality is that it’s not about being strong, it’s about being honest with yourself and not being afraid to admit when you need help.”
“I hope that by sharing my story I can help others who are struggling with their mental health.
“By talking about mental health issues we reduce the stigma around it and we normalise it. And when we normalise mental health we take a huge step towards making things better.”
Our BQ Bulletin emails will land in your inbox at 7.30am, Monday to Friday, with a mix of the latest local business news, national news, and features to inspire you. Sign up here!
Click here to read our privacy statement