This is me
Our campaign, This is Me challenges the stigma around mental health at work and aims to break the culture of silence by supporting people to tell their own stories.
The campaign was created to encourage understanding about mental health issues and develop an environment where employees could comfortably speak out about their own personal experiences of mental health and wellbeing. Sharing stories both on film, and online, is a pillar of the campaign. This enabled employees to be authentic in telling their story and to capture the whole person, not just a challenge or problem.
I’m a son and a brother. I work in finance and am studying for chartered accountancy. I have suffered from depression. I represented Barclays at ‘One Young World’ in South Africa. I’m cycling across Vietnam for charity.
Growing the campaign
It began with only nine colleagues, who were part of the Reach network, talking about their own personal mental health challenges and has grown to include nearly 200 stories and over 60,000 visits to the web page. There has been an overwhelmingly positive response to the campaign, with improvement in trust and engagement attitudes. Disability disclosure rates have increased and Barclays is retaining talent as more employees successfully return to work after mental health-related leave of absence. The campaign has helped build the confidence of those who have shared their stories.
I felt a responsibility to let colleagues know that they are not alone and that they are allowed to feel depressed, anxious, stressed etc. It isn’t weak to do so but instead shows strength and maturity.
We mark UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities (December 3), by highlighting this campaign more broadly. What started out as a focus on mental health has broadened out to include stories from colleagues with a wide range of disabilities or health conditions or those directly impacted by these issues. The campaign also focuses on manager training and policy reviews, as well as improving the work environment for all employees who need additional support to improve their mental health and wellbeing.
Scaling up the campaign
The campaign has also resonated with other organisations, and in 2016, Barclays partnered with the City of London’s Lord Mayor’s Appeal, Mind, Business Healthy, and the City Mental Health Alliance to launch ‘This is Me in the City’. By May 2017 over 115 organisations had registered their interest with 22 directly deploying campaign activities, representing over 400k employees. It plans to double its reach and impact by the end of 2017.
In 2016, This is Me in the City won the BDF Disability Smart Award for staff retention for its impact on workplaces across the City of London.