This Volunteers’ Week, read how JCP Solicitors have benefited from recruiting Mental Health Champions and how these volunteers have supported the wellbeing of their colleagues.

“Our Champions actively encourage wellbeing through a variety of in-house events and promote talking openly about mental health. We are all passionate that there should be no place in the workplace, or indeed society, for any stigma towards mental health.”

A change in how people perceive mental health is very long overdue and so when my when employer JCP Solicitors became involved in the Time to Change Wales scheme, I jumped at the chance of being involved.  JCP pledged their commitment to the scheme and recruited Mental Health Champions throughout the firm.  Our staff are aware that their Champions are there to offer support and a confidential ear if this is ever needed.  We have received wonderful engagement and feedback – this is testament to show the scheme is working. 

Our Champions actively encourage wellbeing through a variety of in-house events and promote talking openly about mental health.  We are all passionate that there should be no place in the workplace, or indeed society, for any stigma towards mental health. 

To strengthen our anti-stigma commitment, JCP chose Hafal, Wales’ leading charity for people with serious mental illness and their carers as our charity of the year.  We ran joint coffee mornings throughout various locations in Wales inviting anyone who felt lonely or isolated to attend and enjoy a cup of team and a friendly chat.   

We have all faced, and are still facing, a very difficult time in our lives and JCP have been a wonderful support to all staff, offering weekly phone calls, emails, guidance and a team JCP Facebook group called the #TeamJCP Community where personal stories and daily updates can be shared.  The theme has been ‘together apart’ and our new digital relationship keeps us all connected. 

Each week, a list of top isolation recommendations is put together and emailed to staff.  These are fun filled challenges which families can complete together or activities which can enjoyed alone.  All of these are intended to promote positive wellbeing and all of which can be done at home or during a daily walk. 

Our Champions have continued to support staff and most recently, ran a wonderful campaign for the Mental Health Awareness week during 18th to 23rd May. This year’s theme was kindness and a variety of events was put together encouraging staff to give thanks to those who have helped then during this most difficult time.  The week was rounded off with a heart-warming video that was shared firmwide and on our social media, with the theme of kindness.  It really was a wonderful campaign. 

We believe it is more important than ever to encourage openness and honesty about mental health and to remove any shame associated with it.  The recent pandemic is likely to affect many of us in ways never seen before and I am very proud to be part of the Time to Change Wales scheme.

 

Cherrie Powell

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