Protecting your mental health and wellbeing – a guide for patent and trade mark professionals
Val McCartney from the mental health charity Jonathan’s Voice tells us about a new guide published specifically for patent and trade mark professionals.
A new booklet, specific to the patent and trade mark professions, has been produced by Jonathan’s Voice in collaboration with the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust.
This free guide covers:
- Recognising the early signs of stress and related conditions
- Identifying the main causes of workplace stress
- Advice on keeping well and maintaining positive mental health
- What to do if you’re struggling
- How to help others
- Useful resources and where to find help
Jonathan’s Voice was founded in 2017 after the tragic and unexpected death by suicide of Jonathan McCartney in October of that year. Jonathan was a patent attorney and partner at Haseltine Lake, now Haseltine Lake Kempner. Jonathan was unable to share the deep distress he was clearly experiencing. As his family, we reflected on what might have enabled him to speak out about the issues he had and feel it was “OK not to be OK”; to know that he wasn’t alone and there was help available.
We became aware that there are excellent guides about looking after your mental health and wellbeing but found that although there was material specific to some other professions, there wasn’t a guide that had a direct focus on professionals in the IP community. Jonathan’s Voice saw the need to provide a guide that recognised the challenges, as well as the rewards, in your sector. The findings of the 2019 IP Inclusive survey (in collaboration with CIPA and CITMA) on stress and mental wellbeing showed that respondents were experiencing high levels of work-related stress and mental health difficulties, compounded by a reluctance to let their employers know about it or take time off. A questionnaire to IP professionals conducted by Jonathan’s Voice in December 2019 convinced us that a guide specific to your profession would be very well received. It has been closely informed by invaluable feedback from your colleagues at the draft stage and the quotes that appear are “top tips” provided by them.
Five months later, and after many iterations, it is here! Jonathan’s Voice sincerely hopes that it will be widely used to support the mental health and wellbeing of those in the profession which Jonathan loved so much.
Please share the guide in whatever way you can with friends and colleagues. Contact Jonathan’s Voice, either via the website www.jonathansvoice.org.uk or by direct email to [email protected] for more information about what we can offer.
Jonathan’s Voice thanks colleagues at the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust for their committed collaboration and in particular the author of the guide, Penny Aspinall, for her patience and diligence in understanding more about the IP professions. Thanks too to all those in the intellectual property community for their considered responses to the initial questionnaire and for subsequent feedback which has been invaluable.
Founder and Trustee, Jonathan’s Voice