Courage to speak up, courage to speak for others

The Minds@Work gather in the offices of Made by Many, London.

The Minds@Work gather in the offices of Made by Many, London.

Minds@Work is going from strength to strength – as an idea, a network, and a group of individuals sharing the same vision to create emotionally healthy and human workplaces. We can be sure of that because the event held last night – our sixth – at the offices of Made by Many in London enjoyed the highest attendance so far, while membership of the movement has grown to over 200 people only ten months after it was launched by Geoff McDonald and Georgie Mack.

There’s also the attractive range of speakers we’ve invited to talk at the meetings. In the past we’ve heard fascinating stories and ideas from figures including social change innovator David Pearl, Sophie Clarke from The Reader Project, and Jeff MacDonald from “meaningful growth” consultants Innate Motion. For last night’s meeting, meanwhile, we were lucky enough to enjoy talks from three individuals and organisations with very different approaches to the subject.

First to present was Amy McDonald whose company Headtorch assists people at work to make a positive impact on wellbeing. “Courage to speak up, courage to speak for others” are, said Amy, fundamental to destigmatising mental illness in the working world, while respect, empathy and sustainability are also key. 

Later in the evening, author, speaker and thought leader Richard Barrett gave an insightful talk entitled “The Ego-Soul Dynamics of Depression At Work” which combined theories including psychological development and the nature of perception to discuss the importance of living one’s values in work as well as outside of from it.

Minds@Work has a specific vision for creating change in the workplace by encouraging leaders to speak out about their mental health difficulties, and while the subject of our third speaker’s book is recovery from alcoholism, there’s still plenty to learn – in particular about speaking out.

Since it was published in January this year Amy Liptrot’s extraordinary memoir “The Outrun” has rightly won an enormous amount of praise and was made book of the week on Radio 4. At the event Liptrot was interviewed by the journalist Emma Warren from cultural website Caught By The River, and the audience heard first-hand about Amy’s incredible story of recovery, her decision to speak openly about her vulnerabilities, and how rediscovering the natural world assisted her journey towards getting better (a native Orcadian, Amy returned to the islands after leaving treatment). “Life can be bigger and richer than I knew,” Amy concluded.

So, speaking up and helping others to do the same: it was the theme of our latest meeting, just as it describes very well what our growing movement is all about.   

Get in touch using the links on our homepage if you want to join Minds At Work.

Below: Amy Liptrot (left) with Emma Warren