Mental Health Awareness Week is from 18 to 24 May 2020. Its theme is “kindness”, and inevitably that’s going to be closely tied in with the challenges that Covid-19 has brought us this year.
Here are some resources, posts and ideas we thought might be of interest, including some from our own supporters and some from other organisations such as LawCare and Jonathan’s Voice. We’ll be adding to them throughout the week, so do keep returning!
There are further useful mental health resources on our own Mental Health and Wellbeing page. And if you’re looking for inspiration for an in-house event, why not use one of the recent IP Inclusive webinars as a starting point: visit our Resources page and filter for “mental health” or “webinar recordings”.
Life in Lockdown – our North of England network’s campaign
Our North of England network are inviting people from across the IP community to share their reflections on how they’ve adjusted to new situations recently. The network will be marking each day of Mental Health Awareness Week with thoughts, stories and observations – things that we can all hopefully relate to. Keep an eye on our News and Features page and Twitter feed, and on the North of England network’s LinkedIn group for their posts. The first, a heart-warming collection, is here.
There’s still time to participate: please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re after approximately 100-200 words on your new situation (in a personal or professional capacity, or both); the issues arising from that situation that you’ve been able (or unable) to address; and what you’ve done to move yourself towards a positive space. See here for more information and ideas on the types of things we’d like to hear about.
Midlands network virtual coffee morning, 21 May
Our Midlands network is embracing the “kindness” theme for its first virtual coffee morning, which falls in Mental Health Awareness Week. Please join them on Thursday 21 May, at 8.30 am, to share your ideas on:
- What does “kindness” look like to you?
- What matters most in your family, your workplace, your culture?
- Have you experienced particularly special acts of kindness during the coronavirus crisis?
More details here.
Join the conversations…
Our IP Ability and Women in IP communities both hope to post their members’ thoughts about kindness and other mental health-related issues during the week. Keep an eye on their LinkedIn groups here and here, and on their Twitter feeds (@IP_Ability and @WomeninIPI) for stories to inspire, entertain and reassure you. Do please add your own comments, and share the conversations with your colleagues, friends and even family.
Meanwhile, IP & ME are running a survey to mark World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, which falls within Mental Health Awareness Week on 21 May. It’s a short, anonymous, survey to help us understand what “culture” and “kindness” mean to you, and how we can promote better understanding between people of different cultures. To start the survey, click here; responses by Wednesday 20 May 2020 please. Also keep an eye on the IP & ME web page for the results, which they hope will help showcase and celebrate how diverse we all truly are.
Update for 21 May: here’s a “word cloud” summarising responses to the question “How can people be kind to others who do not have the same cultural beliefs as them?” Being understanding, open-minded, tolerant, respectful and thoughtful were just a few of the answers we received.
Podcasts, blogs and videos
On the Friday before Mental Health Awareness Week, our Lead Executive Officer Andrea Brewster took part in a CIPA podcast about “mental health leaders in IP”. She joined co-hosts Lee Davies and Gwilym Roberts, along with IPO diversity and inclusion champion (and IP Inclusive Management Chair) Ben Buchanan, and CIPA Membership Officer and mental health first aider Fran Bleach, to explore the pressures that the coronavirus lockdown has created and how colleagues and managers can best help those in need of support. Their discussions covered how to maintain team cohesion, the importance of managers showing vulnerability, random acts of kindness and ways to keep people connected.
You can listen to the podcast here.
Lee Davies has also posted his own video, here, reflecting on the acts of kindness that have made a difference to his career. It’s a very personal, and powerful, reminder that all of us – including those in leadership roles – need human kindness to make our lives meaningful. And he and his CIPA colleagues have also made this lovely video about the kindness they’ve come across during lockdown.
Meanwhile the Intellectual Property Office blog post for Mental Health Awareness Week (here) discusses some of the things the Office is doing to support the wellbeing of its staff during lockdown. From mindfulness to innovative uses for AI, there are some great ideas here for staying connected with your team members.
Mental health first aiders’ network
Following our popular April webinar about support for mental health first aiders, we’d like to set up a network for first aiders to share ideas, experiences and resources and generally support one another. If you’d be interested in joining a network like that, please get in touch. We hope to make a start on this project straight after Mental Health Awareness Week.
IP Inclusive works closely with the charity Jonathan’s Voice to develop better mental health and wellbeing practices in the workplace. Do visit their website for a wealth of useful resources, interesting and inspiring blog posts and news of their future projects – including mental health guidance for patent and trade mark professionals, which they hope to launch in the very near future.
The mental health charity LawCare promotes and supports good mental health and wellbeing in the legal community. It’s collated a range of resources for you and your colleagues to use during Mental Health Awareness Week, including an article, social media images and new top tips for sleep.
On the first day of the Awareness Week, it released its data on the Covid-19 related contacts it has received so far. Over a third (37%) of all contacts to its support service since 10 March 2020 have raised issues related to Covid-19. The top three were not being permitted to work from home, financial issues due to furlough/pay cuts or lack of work, and worsening of existing mental health conditions. Other problems mentioned included relationship strain, childcare issues and being asked to work whilst on furlough. LawCare’s Chief Executive Elizabeth Rimmer has expressed the fear that this is only the tip of the iceberg and that increasing numbers of legal professionals will contact the charity in the coming weeks “as the emotional and financial impact of the pandemic begins to really hit home”. You can read the full press release here.
LawCare are also:
- encouraging people to share, on social media, the moments in their legal career when someone showed them kindness, using #momentofkindness and tagging @LawCareLtd.
- running a webinar on 20 May, 10.30 – 11.30 am, with Simon Davis, President of the Law Society of England & Wales, exploring leadership, practical tips for firms and why looking after your mental health right now is so important (details here).
- releasing a podcast on the biological case for kindness in the workplace, with a leading neuroscientist in conversation with one of their champions.