Thursday 1st February 2018 was Time to Talk Day; a day aimed at reducing the stigma of talking about mental health issues. It is run by Time to Change who advocate that anywhere can be the right place to talk about our mental health – including at work.
At Shoosmiths, we believe that it benefits all of us to talk about mental health and in January 2017 we signed the Time to Change Employer Pledge: a commitment to our staff to change how we think and act about mental health at every level of our firm.
As part of our ongoing commitment to this, we supported Time to Talk Day.
We published a feature on our intranet as a reminder that we want everyone to feel they can be open about their mental health, and to ask for support if they need it. Colleagues can speak to their local HR Manager in confidence about support available. Alternatively, all staff have access to an Employee Assistance Programme which offers a wide range of information and advice as well as telephone counselling. We also promoted Law Care, an independent charity that promotes and supports good mental health and wellbeing in the legal community.
In our Manchester, Northampton and Nottingham offices our wellbeing champions provided flyers and posters with information on helpful contacts for advice or help. Nottingham also served a trolley of treats as a Random Act of Kindness to keep staff smiling and to encourage a good vibe in the office.
In our Lakes office in Northampton ‘Conversation Starters’ were placed around the building described as a great, fun and light hearted way to start a conversation with colleagues, friends and family. They work by picking a circled number and open in alternative directions that amount of times. Pick a purple number and open alternately that amount of times, pick your final number, open flap and start your conversation.
Northampton also chose to nominate Northampton and District Mind as its charity of the month during February.
Sarah Winship, Shoosmiths’ Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing Manager commented ‘supporting good mental health is a key part of our strategy and Time to Talk offers a fantastic opportunity for us to engage staff and create a culture where everyone feels able to talk about mental health. We want to create parity between physical and mental health and I am delighted that colleagues embraced Time to Talk day.’