A new campaign launched by global mental health platform Made of Millions encourages real talk about mental health in the workplace

Made of Millions have launched #DearManager, a campaign to coincide with mental health awareness month. Focussed upon starting real, specific and honest conversations between managers and teams in workplaces, campaign materials from #DearManager depict individuals sharing the reality of their mental health condition in a workplace context, and how it can affect perceptions of their performance, productivity and personality.

Lauren O'Shaughnessy from Made of Millions told Happiful: "In addition to sparking honest conversation, we want the campaign to drive people to www.dearmanager.com in hopes that they'll download our workplace mental health manual, titled Beautiful Brains, and use it to make progress in their work environment. It's a six-step framework that helps companies implement more progressive mental health policies and initiatives.

"We believe that while it's ultimately company leadership that influences widespread change, it takes everyday people speaking up for those in power to pay attention. We're hoping to spark an employee-led movement that does just that."

Made of Millions, a community platform from the Made of Millions Foundation, believes that daily actions, big or small, can make a world of difference. At the heart of their work is the understanding that misinformation keeps stigma present, fuelling myths about the reality of mental health conditions, which in turn forces millions of people across the world to suffer in silence. The platform features help for sufferers and experience of people living with mental health from across the globe.

Co-Founder Aaron Harvey spoke with Happiful about his own workplace and mental health experiences on a recent visit to the UK. He explained that his dedication to mental health advocacy and the initial inspiration behind both Made of Millions and IntrusiveThoughts.org was his experience of growing up with hidden mental health conditions, specifically OCD.

Aaron used his professional and artistic experience as an entrepreneur and owner of a creative agency, along with his lived experience of mental illness to create platforms and initiatives that would speak to, and support sufferers.

Describing the moment he chose to open up about his own experiences of mental illness in his workplace, Aaron said; "I had been very secretive about everything. Opening up in the way I did, which was writing an article in Fast Company and launching IntrusiveThoughts.org - it put all of my deepest, darkest secrets on display to the world.

"When I did it, I had to sit my team down first and the intimacy of it, I didn’t expect how challenging that would be, to sit with your team who see you usually as this quirky low-key guy and then to open up about something tremendously painful…

"I did it in part by using YouTube videos, with other people’s experiences, as a crutch. There’s no doubt that was a raw, intimate reveal for me.

"Since then it’s been amazing because I’ve really been able to focus on how to really push for mental health reform in the workplace, including the development of Beautiful Brains, a mental health manual for the modern workforce, another way to reboot and recognise that there needs to be actual reform around how we prepare ourselves for crisis situations in the workplace.

There are millions of people who are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed who spend the majority of their time in our offices and we’re simply not trained to spot early warning signs

"We recognise that there are millions of people who are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed who spend the majority of their time in our offices and we’re simply not trained to spot early warning signs, there’s no policy around it - certainly in the US."

Aaron notes that while there is initial interest in the concept of mental health in the workplace, he is concerned that there needs to be a deeper commitment from organisations in the United States and beyond. "Everyone cares on a surface level, but to go beyond that level is a challenge, there is a lot of bureaucracy, there’s a lot of fear, a presumed cost and a lack of understanding of ROI on what these programmes can deliver and offer.

"There’s still so much work to be done."

Help Made of Millions move that work forward, spread the word about workplace mental health and support #DearManager

Co-Founder of Made Of Millions Aaron Harvey spoke to Happiful for our I am. I have podcast. Aaron's episode will be released on Monday 6 May. Subscribe to I am. I have to receieve the latest episode straight to your preferred device.

You can also listen to past interviews with Rose McGowan, Megan Crabbe, Munroe Bergdorf and Estee Lalonde.

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