A free webinar from IP Inclusive and Jonathan’s Voice
Wednesday 11 May 2022
12.30 – 1.30 pm
This webinar, to mark Mental Health Awareness Week 2022, was a joint project between the mental health charity Jonathan’s Voice, the six IP Inclusive communities and our mental health first aiders’ network. It looked at the intersections between mental wellbeing and diversity, in particular through the lens of the 2022 Mental Health Awareness Week theme of “loneliness”.
Recent research from LawCare showed a link between being a member of an under-represented group and suffering with mental health issues such as stress, anxiety and depression (see https://www.lawcare.org.uk/latest-news/life-in-the-law-new-research-into-lawyer-wellbeing-makes-the-case-for-profession-wide-change/). This finding goes to the heart of IP Inclusive’s objectives; it’s an area where we want to raise awareness and understanding.
So we thought it would be good to hear from representatives of our communities about particular challenges they face in this context, the self-help strategies they’ve used to protect their own mental wellbeing, and what colleagues can do to understand and support them. We asked whether loneliness and isolation exacerbate the problems faced by people in “minority” groups, particularly if they’re not able to reveal their whole identity at work.
Six generous volunteers provided their personal perspectives as well as more general ideas and observations from the communities they represented. It was a relaxed, candid and at times moving discussion which included an opportunity for delegates to put their own questions to the panel. Because of the nature of the topics discussed, we plan to publish a summary in the next few weeks, rather than a full recording.
This event was open to IP professionals in all roles and at all career levels.
We heard from:
- Becky Campbell (Mewburn Ellis) from IP Ability
- Susi Fish (Boult Wade Tennant) from Women in IP
- Josh McLennon (Kilburn & Strode) from IP & ME
- Sandra Pelling (HGF) from the IP Non-traditional Family Network
- Darren Smyth (EIP) from IP Out
- Giovanna Viganò (Vocalink) from IP Futures
The discussions were expertly, and sensitively, chaired by mental health trainer and consultant Penelope Aspinall, who works with Jonathan’s Voice and chairs their advisory board.
You can access Penelope Aspinall’s slides here: they include a list of sources of help and a summary of relevant findings from LawCare’s 2020/21 Life in the Law survey. Please do share them with friends and colleagues.
Please also share our report of the key outcomes.
The book recommended by panellist Darren Smyth was The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man’s World by Alan Downs.
This event was free. So are all our resources. We think it’s important to keep IP Inclusive the right side of the paywall.
That said, we do need money to keep the show on the road, so if you enjoyed the event please consider contributing to our 2021-22 fundraising campaign. For more information – including about corporate donations – visit our fundraising page.