This year, Mental Health Awareness Week is from 8th to 14th May.  Please join one of our IP Inclusive events to explore this important topic and help make things better for the IP professionals of the future.

Under the banner “Surviving or Thriving?”, Mental Health Awareness Week 2017 is looking at mental health from a new angle.  Rather than asking why so many people are living with problems, the aim is to uncover why too few of us are thriving with good mental health.

The charity co-ordinating this initiative, the Mental Health Foundation, wants to explore the sensitive issue of how people struggle to cope with an increasingly hectic and complex life, and what steps we can take to build resilience and look after our mental health.

At IP Inclusive, we thought these would be excellent themes to address in the context of the IP professions.  IP can provide a rich and rewarding career, of course, but it can also be a high pressure environment, with the stress of working to deadlines, budgets and billing targets; business development challenges; and of course the additional pressures that come from working with high-flying colleagues: the threat of competition and the fear of failure.

What can we do in the IP professions to help one another to thrive rather than survive?  How can we adapt our working practices to ensure everyone reaches their full potential without needing to suffer anxiety, depression or other mental health problems?  How do we increase awareness and understanding of these issues, and stop them being swept under the carpet in the pursuit of perfection?

During Mental Health Awareness Week 2017 we’re hoping to organise a set of events around the country, focusing on mental well-being for IP professionals.  Each will include one or two speakers, a panel discussion with – hopefully – a chance for audience members to ask questions and share experiences if they wish; and some informal networking with refreshments.

These events will be open to all IP professionals.  That means not only the fee earners but also the professionals who work with them, for example secretaries, IP administrators and paralegals, HR professionals, searchers, translators and examiners.  These are issues which affect the whole team – let’s reach out to everyone and include them in the debate.

Look out for more details about speakers, topics, dates and venues, which will follow shortly.

Meanwhile, you can find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week here and if you’re on Twitter, by following the hashtag #MHAW17.

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