No-one should have to face a mental health problem alone.

That’s surely not a controversial statement? Yet, whilst every year one in four of us will experience a mental health problem, hundreds of thousands still struggle to get the support they need.

This is just one reason why we are today announcing our support for a two-year project designed to deliver financial and practical support to Mind.

We want to do our bit to help raise at least £200,000 for the mental health charity, the minimum target set  by The Ardonagh Community Trust (ACT), the charitable vehicle of our parent company, The Ardonagh Group.

 

But we want to do more. We want to raise awareness of the importance of good mental health at work and in our communities among our colleagues, clients and suppliers.

We want to break down barriers, to tackle the stigma and discrimination that can impact those dealing with mental health issues.

We want to improve understanding, support and practices in relation to the mental health of all our employee, to promote workplace wellbeing.

So, important as it is, this initiative is about much more than fundraising. It’s about becoming involved, addressing and understanding the issues so that we are better equipped to support ourselves, our friends, families and colleagues.

Next week ACT is launching the #insidemymind campaign. This will encourage staff to share their personal mental health experiences with their Ardonagh colleagues. These might relate to work-related stress or how someone has managed following diagnosis of a mental illness, for themselves or someone close to them.

Shared experiences are important in helping start a conversation about issues we might otherwise sweep under the carpet. It’s important because so many of us will at some point in our lives need address such issues.

#insidemymind will also kick-start a wider mission to create open, inclusive and supportive cultures across all the Ardonagh companies when it comes to mental health and wellbeing.

 

Why are we supporting Mind?

ACT chose to partner Mind for a number of reasons.

Mental health was identified early on following the creation of ACT as a cause that colleagues across Ardonagh were passionate about. When people started to share their personal experiences with Mind’s services, it became clear this was a fitting candidate for the Trust’s national charity partnership.

Some of these colleagues are now sharing their stories via #insidemymind. Why? Because they believe we will all benefit from raising awareness about the spectrum of mental health.

We agree and will be encouraging Chase Templeton’s employees to share their experiences, to start the conversation.

This determination to break down barriers, coupled with the excellent work Mind does and the resources it provides, are foundations of the partnership forged with the charity.

David Ross, Ardonagh Group’s Chief Executive Officer, has spoken passionately about why ACT chose Mind as its first ever national charity partner:

“One in four people will experience a mental health problem each year, and unfortunately, there is still so much more to do to break down stigmas and create a culture of acceptance, inclusion and diversity.

Heralding the launch of the partnership he added:

“Mind’s mission is simple. They won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets support and respect. This fantastic organisation helped over half a million people through their local services and another 76,000 via their national helplines in 2017.”

 

What does Mind do?

Mind is an incredible organisation.

It provides information and advice to anyone experiencing a mental health problem. It helps them understand their condition and advises how they can access the right treatment and support.

It does this through the national Mind Infoline. This provides expert advice on types of mental health problems and their treatment. It also offers advocacy support.

It does this through the Mind Legal Line. This provides legal information and advice on matters of mental health law. This includes equality and discrimination issues, mental capacity and community care.

It does this through a website packed with information, advice and resources.

It does this through a network of 130 local Mind groups located across England and Wales. These offer specialised services based on the needs of the communities it supports.

 

It does this through campaigning. This includes the current Time To Change campaign launched in conjunction with partner charity, Rethink Mental Illness. Described as its most ambitious campaign ever, Time To Change aims to end the stigma and discrimination faced by those with mental health campaigns.

 

 

What will we be doing to support Mind?

There are three main areas of activity we will be focus on.

  • Fundraising – staff across Chase Templeton’s Darwen and Bridgwater offices will be launching fundraising initiatives to help ACT achieve that minimum £200,000 target. We’re delighted to report that Ardonagh Group will match £ for £ individual employees fundraising efforts, up to £200 each per year.
  • Volunteering – We will be encourage volunteering with Mind. The charity offers many volunteering opportunities across its offices, shops and at events.
  • Awareness – We will increase awareness of Mind across Chase Templeton and our wider business network – clients, colleagues and suppliers.
  • Support – We want every one of our colleagues to feel supported when it comes to their overall wellbeing as well as with their mental health experiences. We will encourage them to share their stories, to open a dialogue about mental health and to promote a culture which supports Mind’s aim to end stigma and discrimination.

For more details of how you can donate to or fundraise for Mind, please click here.

You can also see Mind President Stephen Fry discussing mental health by clicking here.

 

Chase Templeton Limited is registered in England and Wales No. 3299980 – registered address: 5 Arkwright Court, Blackburn Interchange, Darwen, BB3 0FG. Towergate Underwriting Group Limited is registered in England and Wales No. 4043759 – registered address: Towergate House Eclipse Park Sittingbourne Road Maidstone Kent ME14 3EN.  VAT Registration No: 447284724.