Mind your head!
What I wish I’d known about anxiety, depression
Tuesday 15 June 2021
6 – 7 pm
Andrew Wells is a Senior Associate at Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF), working in the European IP team. From c. 2014-2018 he suffered a prolonged and, at times, severe bout of anxiety and depression. Having recovered, he went public with his struggles and has become an advocate on mental health issues in the legal profession in the UK, at the same time as continuing his legal career and starting a family.
During this session for IP Futures Andrew shared his personal experience of anxiety and depression, as well as his thoughts on what we can do as individuals and organisations to combat mental ill health, break down the surrounding stigma and take practical steps to promote the wellbeing of ourselves and others both at home and in the workplace (and especially in light of Covid-19 lockdowns). He also answered audience questions in the Q&A part of the event.
Andrew has been involved in the following activities relating to mental health:
- HSF mental health champion and advocate
- Co-chair of HSF’s London Ability Network Committee (which has a remit to support the firm’s inclusive approach to disability)
- Participating in panel discussions for students at Cambridge, Oxford and Bristol Universities on the subject of mental health and the legal profession
- Participating in a panel discussion on mental health at the Legal Week Commercial Litigation & Arbitration Forum 2019
- Publication of his article “What I Wish I’d Known” on various websites, including LinkedIn and The Lawyer’s blog (UK legal trade news site)
- Being interviewed on a national network UK radio station (BBC 5 Live) breakfast show along with the Global Head of IP at HSF, in relation to mental health at work
- Contributing to “WFH with children in the time of Covid makes the office look easy” in The Sunday Times (17 January 2021)
- Being a founding member of the team developing The Lawyer’s Wellbeing Podcast
- Walking over 100 kilometres along the Thames Path over two days raising awareness (and over £4,800) for Mind, a mental health charity
HSF has supported Andrew in all these initiatives, having actively promoted conversations around mental health in the workplace in recent years. It was also one of the first firms in London to introduce a mental health mentor/champion programme. It has recently launched an updated global mental health strategy, “Thrive”, and offers various resources for employees who are in need of support.
All early-career IP professionals were welcome to attend this webinar, whatever their role.
Andrew has kindly shared his slides with us; they can be downloaded here.
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 individual ad hoc donations, our crowdfunding page is here. Or for more information – including for corporate sponsors – visit our general fundraising page here.