MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK: DEAR JAYSON
Everyone should be taking mental well-being as seriously as the physical. The brain is the most powerful muscle we have, and for those not working in physically demanding jobs, mental ill-health can effect productivity in the same way a broken arm would effect the productivity of a builder.
Opinium carried out a nationwide survey of 2,000 people and found 50% felt guilty for taking time off for mental health, despite 56% of those feeling better for doing so. Only 19% told their managers they were struggling with mental health, a third didn't think it was necessary, a quarter didn't think their managers would be able to help, while a fifth didn't think it appropriate.
To help tackle the stigma around mental health, we've
started an emotionally charged campaign to highlight the tragic effects mental-ill health can have, not just on the sufferer, but on those left behind. Through a series of letters to loved ones who lost their battle to mental ill-health, we hope our campaign will make mental health normal in the BIG little LDN workplace, and for anyone who is suffering to know we understand, and it's ok to not be ok all the time.
We worked with Jayson Jerome when he was the life and soul - not just of our customer services desk, but the entire office. His smile lit up which ever room he walked into, but this was a well practised mask for the demons he was holding inside. Jayson was the person everyone wanted to be around. He had this rare magnetic quality that drew you to him, not just because he was funny, but because of how blatantly upfront he was. You knew where you stood with Jayson and the world is a much duller place without his infectious energy.
We aren't able to publish our letter to Jayson just yet, so instead we'll share this video interview that was produced shortly before he took his own life, to show those who were unfortunate not to know Jayson, just how much zest for life he had.
"Every moment is magical and if you can make it even more magical, even more intense by doing something that is new and fresh, life won't seem boring." @JaysonJerome 1986 - 2012. #MentalHealthAwareness
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is an amazing charity leading the movement against suicide, the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK.
They offer a confidential helpline and web chat service for those who have hit a crisis point in their lives, support for those bereaved by suicide, community meet ups and have run notable marketing campaigns with the likes of Prince William and Rio Ferdinand for #BestManProject and with Chris Hughes for #DontBottleItUp.