Here’s a summary of IP Inclusive activities to mark Mental Health Awareness Week, which this year ran from 13-19 May. There’s still one event to come; we’ll be keeping mental health on our agenda for more than just a week…
Mental health and wellbeing survey
In collaboration with CIPA and CITMA, we ran a survey on mental health and wellbeing. Closely based on our spring 2018 version, it aimed to gauge levels of stress and mental health problems in the patent and trade mark professions, to uncover their causes and to suggest what we can do to address the problems. The survey is now closed, and we hope to report the results later in the summer.
This year’s survey was open to both CIPA and CITMA members. It included questions that mirrored those in a recent survey by the Law Society’s Junior Lawyers Division, to allow us to compare the results not only with our own from last year, but also with the wider legal profession. We’re hoping the responses will help us to offer more, and better targeted, mental health support for the IP sector.
We organised three webinars for Mental Health Awareness Week and beyond. For some, there were also “live viewings” around the country, allowing people to listen to a webinar alongside other IP professionals from their area, share experiences and discuss the issues raised.
On 14 May, 12.30 – 1.30 pm, our webinar entitled “Mental health: time to listen, time to act” featured a guest speaker, Graham McCartney, from the charity Jonathan’s Voice and included a discussion about mental health first aid training. More details here.
On 4 July, 12.30 – 1.30 pm, we were scheduled to broadcast a panel discussion on workplace dress codes. A nod to the Mental Health Awareness Week “body image” theme, this aimed to explore the impact of dress codes – both explicit and implied – on inclusivity. We had a fabulous panel of experts lined up (see here for details). Sadly, a last-minute emergency meant we had to postpone this webinar. But we do still plan to run it, so keep an eye on our Events page for the new date.
Mental Health First Aid training pilot
Mental health “first aid” training is becoming increasingly popular as a way of removing the stigma around mental health problems at work, and supporting the people who suffer with them. Earlier this year, Parliament’s Backbench Business Committee called on the Government to change legislation so that an employer’s first aid responsibilities cover both physical and mental health, and to add a requirement for workplaces to train mental health first aiders: see here and here.
We talked about mental health first aid in our 14 May webinar, “Mental health: time to listen, time to act”, with personal perspectives on mental health first aid training and its benefits, and advice on follow-up measures to maximise its value.
So on 26 and 27 June 2019, CIPA kindly hosted a mental health first aid training course for us (more details here). This was a pilot scheme to gauge the value and popularity of shared training sessions. We’re hoping to organise similar training “pools” for IP Inclusive supporters in other regions.
This 2-day course qualified delegates as Mental Health First Aiders. The training was provided by Mental Health First Aid England and took place at CIPA’s offices on Holborn in London. The cost per delegate was £200 + VAT, lower than the fee for attending one of MHFAE’s external courses. In order to keep the cost down, we asked delegates to make their own lunch arrangements; CIPA provided drinks, biscuits and fruit during the refreshment breaks.
Places on this course were offered to all IP Inclusive supporters on a first-come-first-served basis. Delegates included IP attorneys and paralegals, HR professionals and an IP Office examiner. Keep an eye on our News and Features page for some of their feedback – and in the meantime you can read an initial report here.