Mental heath awareness week in spotlight
Legal & General, the FTSE 100 insurer, has today launched a campaign that will use sport to raise awareness, educate, and encourage action around reducing the stigma of mental health in the workplace.
Working with renowned sporting personalities who are also mental health advocates such as rugby union referee Nigel Owens, Team GB Gold medal-winning hockey players Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh and former Premier League footballer Clarke Carlisle, Legal & General’s campaign encourages employees and employers to think that “talking about mental health is not a red card offence”.
Research by Legal & General has shown that only four per cent of employees who have experienced depression and five per cent who have experienced anxiety feel able to talk to their manager or superior about it, yet a huge 78 per cent of employers believed their employees to be comfortable discussing such problems at work.
Legal & General’s “Not a Red Card Offence”, launched to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week, will feature short films that showcase the importance of creating an environment in the workplace that encourages open discussion and understanding about mental health. Using the connection to the values and camaraderie in sport, the films focus on the necessity of conversations between employees and employers, which often fail to happen due to stigma, fear or lack of education and understanding on the issue.
Nigel Owens, world-renowned rugby referee, said: “It’s important for me that people don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed if they experience a mental health issue. It’s not a sign of weakness, in fact accepting it and talking about it, is a sign of great strength. And when you do start talking to people you often find others who are talking about it or have experienced something similar, and you realise it’s quite common. I didn’t think twice about supporting this campaign.”