Reflections on Mental Health Awareness Week

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Today marks the end of Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 and so this week, I have taken some time to reflect about my personal thoughts and feelings.

As you may (or may not) have noticed, my blogs and social media presence have not been as consistent as they would normally, this is because I’m having to make a stark admittance to myself, I am struggling.

After a non-stop four years, my mental health has started to suffer and whilst I love nothing more than the busyness of my successful career, sometimes we have to recognise and listen to what our minds and bodies need. Mine right now is screaming at me to stop.

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How kindness can create sustainability at work #HRactsofkindness

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If you’ve picked up a newspaper or seen the news recently, it seems to be all doom and gloom in the headlines, some even going as far as “naming and shaming” particular employers which has created a workplace minefield. We’ve seen cases of bullying, racism, homophobia and sexual harassment, and whilst none of this is new, we live in a time where people are starting to speak more openly about these really important topics. The question for employers and employees alike – what can, and what should we do about it?

As humans, we always have a choice on how we act and respond to events that go on around us, it is our actions that make a huge impact. When I created HR acts of kindness in 2016, my aim was to create kinder workplaces and inspire others to create their own versions of  kindness to spread within their workplaces as well as the wider community.

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Tonight’s the night! UK Blog Awards 2019

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Just a quick message from me to wish all of the finalists the very best of luck for tonight’s awards.

The event is being broadcast LIVE on YouTube from 6:30pm so if you’re not subscribing to their channel already, please make sure you do and you never know, next year you might fancy entering yourself!

Keep all of your fingers crossed for me, it is an absolute pleasure to represent HR and wellbeing initiatives within the workplace to create better working cultures for everyone and inspire others by using my blog to convey these essential topics.

Good luck everyone!

In a time where “me too” takes centre stage, when is it a good time to talk about men’s mental health?

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When I began writing this piece, it was difficult to fully piece together what the picture of men’s mental health looks like from a man’s perspective, not because I’m a woman, but because so few are reluctant to speak out. In this case, it makes this piece all the more worthwhile.

Unfortunately, around one in eight men in England are currently living with a mental health issue and with suicide being the largest cause of death for men under 35, it only highlights the scale of this problem. So why are so many people reluctant to talk about it? Maybe it is because so many men may be reluctant to seek support, there are thousands of men suffering in silence due to the stigma surrounding this taboo subject.

Sadly many are afraid to speak openly about their mental health even with those closest to them, and whilst this topic is not a new issue, people are still shying away from it, so isn’t it time we start talking openly about men’s mental health?

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International Women’s Day 2019; career lessons I’ve learned from the Spice Girls

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Happy International Women’s Day everyone, I hope you are all celebrating all things women power today! In this post, I’m giving IWD a 90’s twist, with some of the lessons I learned from the Spice Girls and how that has stuck with me throughout my career.

Back in 1996, the world was a very different place and it seemed to be dominated by men. For me, those five girls, Scary, Baby, Ginger, Posh and encouraged young women everywhere and inspired them to dream big by following their ambitions and being the best version of themselves.

When I first set my heart on a career in HR and started applying for jobs, I heard “I’m sorry, you’re wasting your time, you don’t have any HR experience.” despite having a wealth of transferrable skills, it felt impossible to actually find a way in, but I soon discovered that it is all about being positive and having a determination to succeed.

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2018, you were awesome. 2019, bring it on!

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What an incredible year 2018 has been!

Career wise, it has been very hectic but productive and I am thankful for the experiences that the year gave me.

I am also grateful for all of the support, lovely comments and wonderful connections that I have made. I am looking forward to much of this in 2019!

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embRACE at CIPD ACE #cipdACE

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I was attempting to have a more creative title for this particular post, but last night at the embRACE event at The Midland Hotel Manchester was an event that spoke for itself.

One word to describe last nights event – pride. This meant so much to people in the room and you could truly feel it, everyone was truly proud of who they were and interested in how we could all do our bit to embrace inclusion.

embRACE is a group set up by the CIPD which is designed to create a safe space within the CIPD for those who wish to discuss racial diversity. This has always been a taboo subject that people don’t feel comfortable approaching and this event was designed to change attitudes towards this; why are we not discussing racial diversity more within our workspaces. A point I raised with a couple of the attendees was that employers often say “we are an equal opportunities employer” just to be clear, diversity and inclusion is not a tick box exercise to satisfy your equal opportunities policy,  the conversations just need to simply take place; it is about truly embracing diversity.

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