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My reflections as a judge

I was delighted to be asked to be a judge for this year’s This Can Happen Awards and it’s something that I’ve relished and thoroughly enjoyed.  

During the shortlisting round I was asked to judge four categories of entries and it was fascinating, heartening, inspiring and informative to understand the breadth and depth of what companies are doing to build positive mental health in the workplace. 

Across the categories I judged there were some common themes that struck me:

Storytelling.  Increasingly, senior leaders and employees of all levels are speaking up and telling their own stories about their mental health challenges.  This takes huge courage and is incredibly powerful in creating trust, awareness, understanding and in normalising conversations on an array of topics.

Innovation.  The global pandemic has meant that companies have had to adapt the way they collaborate and interact with their colleagues, and quickly.  Organisations have had to prioritise and fast-track the creation of mental health programmes, networks, products and interventions to support their employees through extraordinary and unprecedented times.  Entries that really impressed me showed innovation, creativity and a recognition that one size does not fit all in this space.

Technology.  Organisations are becoming bolder and braver in the role technology plays in building positive mental health.  Among this year’s entries there were some incredible apps, platforms and intranet and internet based offerings and resources, created to raise awareness, provide access to information and offer support for those struggling.

Thank you to This Can Happen for shining a light on those leading the field in this area – inspiring stuff!

Abigail East
www.effectus.org.uk
This Can Happen Awards 2021 Judge

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This Can Happen was a game changer for me. I left feeling inspired and energised, armed with practical advice and best-in-class case studies about how to create mentally healthy workplaces.

Nick Jemetta, Chair – Mental Health & Wellbeing Group, Sainsburys