Mental Health Education in London
In conjunction with Northern Trust’s Global Fund Services (GFS) group, our disability business resource council (DBRC) has launched a program of support, awareness and education around mental health at work. Although one-in-four people in the UK will experience mental ill-health, and sickness absence due to mental health issues is rising, mental health is still a highly stigmatized subject. This discrepency poses a significant problem to workplaces.
The DBRC kicked off the initiative with an awareness-raising event in February 2017, in which a young man spoke about the experience of living with schizoaffective disorder. After attending the event, members of the GFS leadership team were inspired to roll out a program of action within GFS that was later extended throughout Northern Trust.
One of the most powerful aspects of the campaign are the “My Story” sessions, during which employees share their personal mental health stories with an audience of other Northern Trust employees.
Other elements of the campaign include the launch of an internal mental health site full of advice and resources to support employees in need, and a Mental Health First Aid Training program that has trained more than 100 employees to date. This training has created a network of Mental Health Champions to support employees with a listening ear and signposting. On World Mental Health Day, more than 100 London Northern Trust employees attended a panel discussion that addressed key issues in mental health.
By opening up the dialogue around mental health, the team is making it possible for people to seek support at an early stage, and hopefully avoid a long period of ill health.