Last month the City Mental Health Alliance successfully launched its new early careers network ‘Thriving from the Start’ in London, a new mental health community where people starting their careers in the City (typically graduates, school leavers and apprentices) can talk openly about mental health at work, share ideas and feedback insights to City business leaders.
The launch event was an evening full of ideas and energy – thank you to everyone for their input and support! As we listened to the powerful personal stories from professionals of PWC, Bank of England and Slaughter and May and the panel, it was clear that the City can learn a huge amount from new joiners to our industries and that there are some quick wins within our reach.
Some of the speakers described that whilst they were open about a mental health condition at university, they kept it hidden when they started work. Others shared how the behaviour of their colleagues delayed them asking for help and importantly, many shared the great support they received when they were open about their condition or concerns.
These inspiring speakers are not alone in initially feeling hesitant to share; recent research conducted by CMHA found that 64% of students and graduates believe disclosing mental health issues will hinder their chances of securing a job.
There were also some great and challenging questions from the audience which drove a healthy debate at the networking afterwards. We are excited about how this openness and fresh thought will drive change to eradicate the stigma and improve the experiences of people [in the workplace] with mental health conditions.
What did we learn that any business can apply, with no ROI calculation needed!:
- Listening is free and in our experience transformational to build support, understanding and trust. Can you find ways to bring personal experiences of mental health of your people or in your industry to life? We would love to hear how this had an impact for your business if you are already doing this?
- If you brought together new joiners of your business and asked them if they were confident to ask for support with their mental health, what would they tell you? You do not even have to guess if you can bring together a small focus group. You might also identify some new mental health champions for your workplace to support with your existing programmes.
- You can find more ideas about workplace mental health initiatives in our Guide to Thriving at Work.
If you are interested to learn more and join the Thriving from the Start network, you can sign up through this online form.