Poor mental health does not discriminate; it is blind to gender, ethnicity, seniority and age. Although not always visible, it directly affects one in four people in the UK, and it is likely that everyone will know someone who is struggling with mental ill health.
Our ‘This is me’ campaign features some of our own people at Deloitte who wanted to talk about their own experiences of mental health and their stories of recovery. A Netball champion, a world traveller, a father, a successful manager. Everyone has a story, and sometimes mental illness is part of that. But it’s never the whole story.
Watch their stories - from the moment they realised they needed help, to feeling confident about coming back to work. You can learn about how they manage their conditions day by day, by talking about it with colleagues and making time for the things that matter – from playing the violin to netball with friends and crochet.
I am a Deloitte audit partner and also a Mental Health Champion. The Champion role is a very important role to me and it has two main components. Firstly, Champions are responsible for raising awareness, speaking to teams and communicating the various support networks in place. We tell our stories and encourage others to as well. Secondly, we are an independent sympathetic ear for people with concerns about themselves or a colleague. We can also talk about accessing more formal support structures such as one to one counselling which can be accessed quickly and confidentially through our Employee Assistance Programme.
Mental Health Champions do not solve people’s difficulties, but we can be a really helpful first step towards support and recovery.
Ask “Are you okay?”
Do you know someone who hasn’t been their usual self? Do they seem down, a little agitated or emotional? Maybe you can't put your finger on it, but you sense something’s wrong? Don't ignore it, trust your instincts and ask if they're okay. By reaching out and starting a conversation you could help someone get the support they need.
Who will you ask?