Everyone has mental health. Whether it be in the workplace or your personal life, it is important to know how to support your own wellbeing and others around you.

Thrive, our mental health and wellbeing network, addresses a range of issues, from suicide awareness to managing stress.

Mental Health Awareness Month

We traditionally dedicate a full month to raising awareness, showcasing resources available to our people, and encouraging everyone to lend their voice to breaking down the stigma of mental ill-health. This aligns with Mental Health Awareness Week which runs from 10-17 May in the UK.

While the conversation around mental health is behind where it needs to be, this month is an notable date in our calendar, because the health and wellbeing of everyone in the firm is of paramount importance.

As part of the firm’s Mental Health Awareness Month, Slaughter and May has pulled together a programme to help support staff and encourage a dialogue around mental health and wellbeing. Events and initiatives include:

Fireside talk with Roman Kemp

Roman Kemp joined us to give a fascinating internal talk and spoke to Michael Craig, a member of our Thrive network committee, for a frank and open conversation about mental health and suicide. We heard from Roman about why he has become an advocate for mental health and together Michael and Roman discussed topics such as masking and their own personal experiences of suicidal thoughts.

Webinar with Unmind and Dr Alex George

As part of Slaughter and May’s firm wide access to mental health and wellbeing platform Unmind, all staff will be able to participate in a webinar with Love Island contestant and Youth Mental Health Ambassador, Dr. Alex George. Dr. Alex will discuss his experience as an NHS doctor during the pandemic, what he envisions for the future of mental healthcare and how we can each play our part in prioritising mental health.

Launch of a Mental Health Crisis Help Button

A dedicated button on the firm’s intranet page to ensure that anyone experiencing a mental health crisis can get access to the help that they need, immediately.

Green Ribbon Campaign

The Green Ribbon Campaign aims to help end the stigma around mental health. All staff will be invited to add a green ribbon to their email signature, to show support for the campaign.

Wellbeing Strategy Session

Our firm performance and wellbeing coach will lead a wellbeing workout. This practical session will lead attendees through evidence-based wellbeing strategies which can be easily incorporated into a busy day, alongside a ten minute mindfulness meditation suitable for beginners and experienced meditators alike.

CBT webinar with a dedicated Bupa therapist

Access to Bupa webinars, including a dedicated CBT session explaining how CBT can be used to help manage and improve mental health.

Announcement of new firm Mental Health First Aiders

15 new firm mental health first aiders have been trained. Staff can contact any of the firm's Mental Health First Aiders to talk in confidence about any concerns they may have regarding mental health and where to find the right support.

Thrive podcast launch

Last month, Thrive released its first podcast episode answering anonymous mental health and wellbeing questions from colleagues. This month, hosts Lucy Chambers and Michael Craig will talk with guests from across the firm about how nature (the national theme for Mental Health Awareness Week) promotes wellbeing.

Bags of Taste cooking competition and Share a Story initiative

Helping to encourage teams to connect and participate in charity initiatives, to ensure we are all staying connected throughout this challenging time and beyond.

At Slaughter and May we aim to support employees’ general wellbeing within a healthy environment. Our mental and physical wellbeing are equally important and the firm offers a wide range of benefits for employees to take advantage of. As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re pleased to have expanded our network of Mental Health First Aiders. Some of their top tips for preventative measures toward mental health are:

  1. ​Talk about your feelings: Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled.
  2. Keep active: Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and can help you concentrate, sleep, and feel better. 
  3. Eat well: Your brain needs a mix of nutrients in order to stay healthy and function well, just like the other organs in your body. A diet that’s good for your physical health is also good for your mental health.
  4. Learn a new skill or hobby: What do you love doing? What activities can you lose yourself in? What did you love doing in the past?
  5. Care for others: Caring for others is often an important part of keeping up relationships with people close to you. It can also bring you closer together.