Around 200 people attended our annual event, kindly hosted by CMHA member Bloomberg, on the evening of 23rd November.
Four years since we were formed, the evening was both a celebration of the progress the Alliance and its members – now nearly 40 of them – have made, and a realistic look at the challenges ahead. Outgoing Chair Pete Rodgers acknowledged the momentum that has gathered around awareness of mental health issues, but said that the stigma associated with mental ill health will only be truly addressed when more CEOs and other very senior business people add their voices to those who have already spoken publicly about their own experiences. Incoming Chair Nigel Jones said that one of the biggest challenges we face is engaging with the full and diverse range of people in member organisations.
Speakers at the event included Jemma Read, EMEA Head of Global Philanthropy and Engagement at Bloomberg, who talked about the positive impact on employees’ mental health of Bloomberg’s giving culture; David Brewin, Global Chief Operating Officer, People Advisory Services at EY, who shared his own personal story of mental ill health; and Helen Davies, CMHA Data and Research Lead, who provided an update on the data CMHA is gathering from member firms on the mental health of their employees.
A panel comprising the mental health leads from Bloomberg, Deloitte, PwC, Slaughter and May, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking and Unum, discussed the question ‘Are mental health strategies working’, with lively participation from the audience. The overwhelming conclusion was ‘Yes, they are’, but there was no sense of complacency. As Nigel Jones concluded at the end of the event, if members continue to focus on ‘actions, not words’, together they and the leadership team will continue to make progress towards the CMHA vision of creating a healthier working environment in the City.
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