This week (13 to 19 May) is ’Mental Health Awareness Week’. As a Board Director and COO, it’s my privilege to talk about how we are determined to make Bibby Financial Services a company in which anyone can feel comfortable about and, indeed, supported throughout, discussing and taking steps to resolve their mental health issues.
This is a cultural issue in that it’s all about ‘how we do things and behave around here’. So, it’s important that we influence each other in order to create the right environment, one which de-stigmatises mental health issues among colleagues at work. We recognise that mental health can be affected at any stage in a person’s life for any number of reasons and that these are likely to impact their working life – just as with physical health issues – and it’s important that we can respond with respect, empathy and practical help and support.
It’s critical that people in my position, and those of my colleagues on the Board and the various Executive groups around our company, provide leadership in the best way we can. I see there being two main groups of people whom we want to support:
- Individuals: we want everyone in BFS to know that there are different people whom they can approach to talk about mental health issues that they may be experiencing. And of course, most importantly, we want people to feel that they can approach and talk to their line managers without prejudice.
- Managers: in line with above, we are currently looking at ways to support line managers to help colleagues in their teams who may approach them about their mental health issues. I hope that, from what you have read, you feel the commitment which we have in BFS to being able to provide support to colleagues’ mental health and general wellbeing.
I’m delighted to support The Leasing Foundation's #TimetoTalk event on 19th May 2019 from 5pm – 7pm. The evening is taking the form of an afternoon tea and guests are encouraged to kick-start discussions and break down the stigma of mental health. There will also be speakers and a panel session, followed by networking.
Tickets for this free event can be obtained from Eventbrite – but numbers are limited for what promises to be an informative and enlightening early evening event.
Enjoy the rest of Mental Health Awareness week.