After months of planning, it was a great pleasure to finally host #TimeToTalkLF19 – an evening where representatives from across the business finance industry came together to discuss mental health at work. (Read the pre-event blog for further background on the event).
The event took place on Thursday 16th May during Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 and was hosted in conjunction with the Leasing Foundation and RBS/Lombard. Open to all in the business finance and asset finance industries, over 15 leading companies supported the event, with over 60 guests attending on the day.
“1 in 4 people are affected by mental health problems” – one of the many powerful statistics used by Julian Hobbs (keynote speaker) before he went on to share his personal story.
Julian Hobbs is highly respected within the business finance space. A confident male, holding CEO position at Siemens Financial Services. However, the Time to Talk day was only his second time openly sharing his story with so many people (the first time being the day prior and to his own employees).
However, the impact he had by openly talking was evident. After his keynote, the ‘Time to talk’ discussion commenced, where tables of up to 10 people had open discussions around mental health. As I walked around the room, I heard so many more people sharing their own stories at the tables and it just shows that bravery inspires others to also be able to talk about their experiences, without fearing stigma.
The evening continued with another moving speech from Steven Robinson (COO of Bibby Financial Services UK), followed by a panel discussion.
The #TimeToTalkLF19 event was a great success and it’s brilliant to see that our industry is coming together to support those affected by mental health. Hopefully, it will help to create better cultures of openness within our industry and encourage more collaborative work.
Events like these are just the beginning of ways to open up conversations and we will use the stories and ideas shared to try and improve our own practices here at Shire! Although Mental Health Awareness Week has passed, we’ve learned that every day should be Time To Talk.