Around 18 years ago, I interviewed a partner at one of the City’s elite firms. He was exceptionally nice, patient and helpful. His chargeable rate was likely £500 to £600 an hour at the time, but he spent at least half an hour trying to photocopy a report he thought I should have. I liked him. When, years later, he took his own life at a point of huge personal stress, it made the national newspapers.http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/news/blog/mind-your-health-mental-wellbeing-is-now-on-the-agenda-in-many-law-firms/
In the Media
Links to media articles about CMHA or where CMHA has been mentioned.
There is a clear business case for doing something about mental health in the workplace, because if employers don’t, they can have a real problem with absenteeism. But it’s a problem companies do not always handle well. Emma Jacobs discusses what can be done to improve this, with Jaan Madan of Mental Health First Aid England and Nigel Jones, chair of the City of London Mental Health Alliance.
Parks and gyms near the legal centres of cities are busy places. On any given day, lawyers and support staff can be found pounding on a running machine, stretching in a yoga class, or boxing in the park. Some run or cycle to work, accessing their desk by passing the office bowl of fruit. As generous charity donors, Gazette readers will know that their colleagues are well represented at marathons and 10k runs. This is not by any stretch everyone in the legal sector, but there is a strong impression that fewer are making the lifestyle choices of Rumpole. It has been that way for a while.https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/features/wellbeing-mind-your-business/5063024.article
John Binns suffered from mental health problems when he was at the consultancy firm Deloitte. He shared with Iain Dale how he recovered and gave his advice for others in a similar position. John was a senior partner with the multinational firm when he was struck with mental health problems in 2007. It led to him taking time off work.http://www.lbc.co.uk/radio/presenters/iain-dale/city-professional-recovered-mental-health-problems/
Poppy Jaman, CEO of Mental Health First Aid England, talks about the courses that they run and the importance of both mental health literacy and open conversations. Nigel Jones, Chairman of the City Mental Health Alliance (CMHA) and partner at City law firm Linklaters LLP, talks about why the CMHA was formed and its key objectives, what wellbeing strategies members of the CMHA are successfully implementing and why he thinks other firms should join.http://www.beinglawyers.com/videos/
Firms are finding the initiatives they put in place to help employees cope with stress are not enough to address the largely hidden issue. At the end of April, journalist Bryony Gordon was giving a talk on mental health issues to about 40 people when one woman asked for advice about dealing with obsessive compulsive disorder and began to cry. She got a hug from Gordon and supportive words from the group. The location of this talk was not, as one might expect, a support group in a community centre, but a posh meeting room on the 15th floor of Citigroup’s offices in Canary Wharf, filled with smartly-dressed bank employees.https://www.fnlondon.com/articles/city-urged-to-change-approach-to-mental-health-20170508
In 2016, law firm Linklaters held two seminars for employees on the topic of suicide. The first seminar was held in October and featured Michael Mansfield QC and Yvette Greenway, founders of Silence of Suicide (SOS). The couple set up the organisation following the deaths by suicide of Mansfield’s daughter and a friend of Greenway’s, with the aim of breaking down the stigma around suicide and enabling people to talk openly talk about it. Jenny Lloyd, diversity and wellbeing advisor at Linklaters, says: “The focus of that session was really to start the conversation on suicide. They reminded us that it is still quite a taboo subject and it’s not one that a lot of people are touching on.”https://www.employeebenefits.co.uk/issues/may-2017/linklaters-raises-awareness-of-suicide-through-workplace-seminars/