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World Mental Health Day Tuesday 10 October 2017

Mental health in the workplace is an important topic for HFW and so we are delighted that it is the theme of World Mental Health Day 2017.

World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues and mobilising efforts in support of better mental health.

During events held by HFW in London and Houston in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Week and the Green Ribbon Campaign in May, HFW's Global Senior Partner Richard Crump said when announcing the firm's commitment to mental health and wellbeing:

'I am very pleased to have the opportunity to highlight the firm's support and commitment to mental health...I want to make it very clear that as a firm this carries the strong support of the partnership and senior management...we should look at mental illness and physical illness in the same way...we should be more open as a firm about mental health and we should resist temptation to think there is a stigma attached to mental health within the firm'.

During the same events, Paul Dean, Partner and the firm's Senior Champion for Mental Wellbeing highlighted:

'1 in 4 people are affected by mental wellbeing issues... What are the obstacles? Stigma which is generally caused by a lack of knowledge and the perception that it is due to weakness (...it is not).. and lastly a lack of discussion. Bill Clinton said 'Mental Illness is not something to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all'.

HFW believes that mental health is just as important as physical health and since Mental Health Awareness Week has taken the following actions:

  1. An additional fifteen Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAs) have been trained taking the total number to forty across five offices. Research has been undertaken to find trainers in other jurisdictions to ensure we fulfil our commitment to match the number of physical health first aiders with MHFAs.
  2. Ninety-four Partners and all Business Service Heads have undertaken mental health awareness training. Further sessions are taking place on 26 October.
  3. Our Employee Assistance Programme has been promoted globally and there is a link to the details on the homepage of our internal intranet.
  4. Resilience training has been included at all levels of our recently launched fee earner skills development programme.
  5. It can be hard to know what is best to do if you have concerns about a colleagues mental wellbeing and so an escalation process has been drafted to ensure consistency and clarity. This will be reviewed by the firm's Healthy Minds network before it is communicated.
  6. Following a suggestion by the Head of our Shipping department, Craig Neame, an email protocol, which aims to reduce the impact of email traffic on mental health and wellbeing, is being drafted.

For further information please contact:

Kathryn Hull
CSR Manager
T +44 (0)20 7264 8082
E kathryn.hull@hfw.com

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