Mental Health Awareness

Employee wellbeing has always been a cornerstone of LDS’ ethos. The partnership is female-oriented, with all four partners being women. Our workplace is feminine in nature, meaning that we are caring, collegiate and collaborative, with initiatives that focus on wellbeing and pastoral care. As a compassionate firm we have intuitively always looked after our staff. We are committed to the highest levels of professionalism, client service and consideration for colleagues, and as part of this commitment we are proud to offer a range of physical and mental health wellbeing initiatives to support our staff. Our wellbeing programme is organic and multi-dimensional and currently includes:

Our policies are not family friendly, simply friendly.

Our firm used 2016’s mental health awareness week to focus on business relationships and our in-house Mental Health Ambassador gave a presentation on the impact of mental health issues on working relationships. We subsequently introduced our wellness action plan. The first stage of which was to devise an anonymised wellness questionnaire specifically tailored to our environment. We used the answers to identify key, focus areas and to amend our wellbeing project.
This year we considered why so few in society appear to be thriving with good mental health. We organised a range of activities, including talks, exercise and diet planning, a healthy recipe exchange and a nutritious lunch. We discussed the results of our questionnaire and identified ways to manage and support mental health and emotional resilience in the workplace.

We shared our approach to emotional resilience and well-being through the medium of music, by considering our Desert Island disc choices. What eight records would we choose to accompany us if alone on a desert island? What one record would we save from being washed away? What book and luxury item would we select? Dubious musical tastes aside, there was much reflection and insight into what may help us thrive and survive during times of stress.

Finally, to affirm the firm's commitment to staff well-being, our activities culminated with the partners giving everyone an additional day's holiday over the May bank holiday.

We aim to promote good mental health and to challenge mental health stigma in the workplace. We plan to work closely with each staff level to fully assess their particular well-being needs. Some senior staff have received resilience training on performing under pressure and we intend to introduce mental health awareness and people management training to managers.
For World Mental Health Day 2017 we asked staff to consider three stress reduction techniques namely:
  • Breathing exercises – we shared with staff a range of breathing exercises which can reverse our body’s natural reaction to stressful conditions and help to manage negative emotions.
  • Meditation apps – staff were asked to review the Evening Standard’s list of London’s favourite meditation apps to assess how technology can aid relaxation.
  • Jigsaw puzzles – to experience the stress releasing power of jigsaws we asked teams to complete 500-piece city puzzles without the help of the completed picture. The idea was to attempt a few pieces of the puzzle at break times to maintain a creative and team bonding focus rather than an analytical and competitive one. Once puzzles were complete, we considered the mental health challenges of the countries depicted in each picture.