London is taking another step forward in tackling mental health with a new campaign called This Is Me 2018 launched last week. The initiative, led by the Lord Mayor of the City of London, aims to change attitudes towards mental health in the workplace and cultivating a safe space for employees.
The campaign encourages employees to speak about their mental health struggles and express themselves to their colleagues through various mediums such as video. Partners for the campaign include Barclays, Business Healthy, City Mental Health Alliance and Mind.
“It is just as important for organisations to look after the mental health of their employees, as it is to support their physical health,” Lord Mayor Charles Bowman said in a statement. “Working environments in the City of London can be extremely demanding and high-pressured, and it is in the interest of both businesses and their staff to collaborate in order to change the culture around mental health for good.”
Young workers are a particularly vulnerable demographic with suicide being the leading cause of death among 20 to 34 year olds in the UK, according to the Office for National Statistics.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan backed the campaign, saying he wants London “to be a place where people can speak openly about their mental health and get the support they need”.
The London Mayor’s Office’s own citywide movement for better mental health called Thrive LDN – which leads activities such as problem-solving booths in the capital – is a partner of the This Is Me initiative.
I want London to be a place where people can speak openly about their mental health and get the support they need. Proud to support @ThriveLDN and @LMAppeal on the This is Me campaign to help employers change attitudes and build happier workplaces https://t.co/S2aw5GUIGp
— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) February 7, 2018
Through open dialogues and consistent encouragement, This Is Me hopes to end the stigma against mental health and foster work environments that are warm and welcoming. At the same time, there’s also a conscious effort to be more inclusive and diverse in the workplace.
“As well as encouraging employees to talk openly about these issues, it’s also really important that staff are reassured that if and when they do speak out, they’ll be met with support and understanding, rather than stigma and discrimination,” Bowman added.
“Mental health is a City-wide priority and it is imperative that organisations focus on it and This is Me is a fantastic way of doing just that. Together we can #endthestigma.”
This year’s campaign is a new thrust to the existing three-year-old initiative, which already has 260 companies registered and has reached over 700,000 employees.
The campaign hashtag #ThisIsMe has already sparked conversation and openness on social media as well.
— 🏴 Becca 🏴 (@BeccaBB1804) February 10, 2018
— OneLongClimb (@OneLongClimb) February 8, 2018
— MHFA England (@MHFAEngland) February 7, 2018
— Fiona Rawes (@FionaRawes) February 7, 2018
Photo caption and credit: The This Is Me campaign encourages employees to openly talk about their mental health struggles to end the stigma around it. Photo from the Lord Mayor of London Twitter
Sub-editing by Martin Steers