World Mental Health Day takes place on 10 October each year with the aim of raising awareness of mental health issues. It is an opportunity for an open discussion regarding mental health.

Stewarts is carrying out a survey to gather information about our employees’ experiences with stress and anxiety to gain a better understanding of their stresses and how they manage them. We will follow up by publishing an article sharing some strategies to help employees who are affected cope with the issues identified.

The purpose of the survey and the resulting article is to show that stress, anxiety and other mental health struggles are common, and affect all of us. We hope that by sharing experiences, the stigma around these topics will be reduced.

On 24 October, we welcome Dr Samuel Batstone, Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist, to our London office. Dr Batstone will be talking to us about stress from a neuroscientific perspective and will explain the evolutionary utility of the stress response, its triggers, its effects on the body and when it becomes problematic.

 

The theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day is suicide and suicide prevention

Every year, close to 800,000 people globally take their own life, and many more people attempt suicide. Suicide is a tragedy that affects families and communities and has long-lasting effects on the people left behind. It’s the leading cause of death among people aged between 20 and 34 in the UK and is the second leading cause of death among 15 to 29-year-olds globally.

In July 2019, the Financial Times published this piece regarding the suicide of Gabe MacConaill, a junior partner at the law firm Sidley Austin. In November 2018, Gabe’s wife Joanna wrote an open letter entitled ‘Big law killed my husband’. Joanna wants her husband’s death to open people’s eyes to the danger of considering stress, burnout and mental health issues a workplace taboo.

 

Mental health first aiders at Stewarts

In October 2018, the firm appointed and trained several staff to become mental health first aiders.

Our mental health first aiders act as a point of contact for anyone in the firm who feels they need support. They are also on hand to spot the signs and symptoms in employees who may be struggling with mental health issues. It means we are not just relying on individuals to come forward to state they feel stressed, but colleagues are looking out for each other, talking to one another and encouraging more effective ways to deal with stress and other mental health issues.

 

More information about World Mental Health Day

If you want to find out more about World Mental Health Day here are some resources: