When it comes to supporting the mental wellbeing of IP professionals, IP Inclusive has always been pleased to partner with the charity Jonathan’s Voice. Set up shortly after the death of patent attorney Jonathan McCartney, they aim to reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues and to help organisations support their employees and develop better mental health practices in the workplace. Our website Mental Health and Wellbeing page was created with their input and support, and they have continued to work with us on events, resources and projects such as our Mental Health First Aiders’ Network.
Here Val McCartney, one of the charity’s founders, provides an update on a rather poignant fund-raising campaign that Jonathan’s Voice are involved with this year. Perhaps you too would like to contribute? If so, there are contact details at the end of the post.
In 2019, 6721 lives were lost to suicide in the UK. Each death a tragedy for the person, their families, friends, colleagues and community. With this number in mind, a group of friends, all alumni and friends of Jonathan from Durham University, have committed to run 6721 miles between them over the course of 2021; 6721 miles for 6721 lives. They will be raising awareness of mental health issues and raising funds to support Jonathan’s Voice and other mental health charities.
The challenge has been driven not just by a broad desire to raise awareness of mental health issues and suicide in particular, but also by very personal stories of friends, colleagues and family impacted directly by suicide. There are valuable benefits to the team too. Paul Meller, the group’s organiser, writes, “We’re also all doing this as a challenge for ourselves and as a group. 2020 was a tough year, and 2021 is set to continue to test us all. This challenge is a way for each of us, individually, to set goals that get us motivated, fit and mentally healthy across the whole year. It will also help keep a group of friends, dispersed across six countries, connected at a time when social contact and friendships are particularly hard to sustain and having mechanisms to talk to and support each other is so important.”
In undertaking this challenge, the team will “Connect”, “Keep Active” and “Give”: all steps to mental health and wellbeing. It would be wonderful if other teams were interested in taking up the challenge. Paul ([email protected]) would be very pleased to be contacted by anyone who would like to know more about the format and the organisation.
Jonathan’s Voice is a registered charity (Charity Number 11800424) and a member of the NSPA (National Suicide Prevention Alliance).