Welcome to your HRD Connect update!

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week  HRD Connect is running a business role models of mental health campaign. We’ve spoken with some truly inspiring characters opening up about their own personal mental health detailing why it’s important to talk about how you feel in and outside of work. These role models include; Alastair Campbell, Brian Heyworth (Global Head of Client Strategy, HSBC), Geoff McDonald, Ruth Sutherland (CEO, Samaritans) and Jessica Carmody (Senior Manager, KPMG). Each and every story detailed this week is a personal tale which highlights the need for a real societal shift and a change of mindset within UK business.

We start with our first role model, Alastair Campbell. Campbell has become somewhat synonymous with mental health advocacy across various sectors, using his high-profile to become an ambassador for the likes of Mind and Time to Change, which in turn are making real change in the way we communicate our mental health in the workplace.

“I actually think we need to move away from the one in four message. One in one of us have mental health and just like physical health some days it is better than others. But being able to be open about it helps everyone.” – Alastair Campbell 

Our next role model is Brian Heyworth, Global Head of Client Strategy at HSBC. He told us his in-depth personal story about having a psychological breakdown, keeping professionalism in mind and never fully recovering but learning to crisis manage himself from the depths of despair into a happy and fulfilled, albeit work-obsessed life. Read below for the full-length interview.

Next is Jessica Carmody, Senior Manager at KPMG. Carmody heads up KPMG’s internal ‘Be Mindful’ mental health network, empowering all employees to articulate their own feelings towards mental health. Carmody tells us how she not only manages her own mental health, but also show us ways in which managers can help employees feel secure and accepted within organisations.

“We need to do more to develop language around mental health” – Jesscia Carmody

Later in the week, we’ll be getting insights from Geoff McDonald and Ruth Sutherland. As ever, join the conversation and tweet us at @HRDCommunity or email me at [email protected].

I hope you enjoy the features.

Best wishes,

Emily Sexton-Brown,
Editor, HRD Connect