Events

Sock It To Stigma! 2022

Our annual Sock it to Stigma! campaign seeks to raise awareness about the stigma associated with mental health and the damage that stigma can cause.

Mental ill health is all too often a topic that is not widely spoken about, especially in a workplace environment, with individuals fearing that they will be let go, not given as much responsibility or have their challenges ignored entirely by their colleagues and superiors. When mental ill health is not dealt with, it can have a hugely negative impact on productivity and work performance.

Stigma around mental health still prevents many people from seeking the help and support they need. We must all take personal responsibility to create the kind of culture which encourages people to speak up, which allows them to feel safe in doing so.

Peter Wingrove, Shawmind CEO

Each year we ask organisations and schools to get everyone wearing their brightest socks, on show, to create a fun discussion point around which to rally about this serious subject. This year’s campaign will run throughout February.

The intended outcome of #SockItToStigma is to combat stigma within schools as both workplaces and places of learning, to stimulate or increase discussions around mental health, encouraging free and open conversations between teachers and students, and between teachers and colleagues about their mental health and wellbeing without judgement or fear of recrimination.

By taking part in #SockItToStigma, you are showing that you are not afraid to stand up and be counted when it comes to fighting stigma surrounding mental health, and that your students and colleagues can come to you for support and advice, and be taken seriously without judgement or repercussion. #SockItToStigma has proven to be a fun, interactive way of getting conversations about mental health started.

How can your workplace get involved in #SockItToStigma?

Organisations are encouraged to proactively embrace projects which show that they are both understanding and accepting of the mental and emotional wellbeing challenges of their staff, and that they are there to support them as far as possible.

One way to do this is to organise a simple fundraising and sock-wearing competition between staff or departments, where each challenges the other to raise money for the #SockItToStigma cause (mental health training for schools, nationally) and the company commits to match what the employees raise. Fundraisers usually involve doing something fun that can be shared on the intranet or on social media – but the compulsory ingredient in the mix is that the activity must be done whilst wearing your brightest, weirdest socks!

We will support participating employees, organisations and schools through our social media and PR.

Fundraising Ideas

How can your school get involved in #SockItToStigma?

Schools need to show that they are both understanding and accepting of the mental and emotional wellbeing challenges of their staff and the children under their care, and that they are there to support them as far as possible. #SockItToStigma has proven in the past to be a fun, interactive way of getting these conversations started.

Use our #SockItToStigma Activity Pack as a starting point to do something fun together and to use the opportunity to speak about mental health, breaking the stigma around this serious subject.

Download our Activity Pack

All funds your school raises will be used to provide fully-funded mental health resources and training to schools through our #Headucation programme.

We make it easy for you to collect money and to donate to Shawmind – for the different ways to make a donation, please visit: https://shawmind.org/donate. All funds raised during this campaign go straight to our #Headucation fund to support children with mental health and stop stigma before it can start.

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Shawmind Supports Teacher Wellbeing

Preparations are under way as we plan to host a specialist wellbeing panel as part of a week-long festival led by Teachers Come First.

On Friday 9th October,  just ahead of World Mental Health Day (10th October), we will welcome a collective of education and wellbeing specialists from across the country to an online panel discussion, which will be chaired by the charity’s CEO Peter Wingrove.

Kelly Forrest Mackay, Head Teacher and pioneer of the new mental health curriculum in Wales; Elizabeth Williams, Chair of Mindfulness Wales; Victoria English, Shawmind Mental Health training partner; and Adam Parkes, Shawmind Champion, former Head Teacher and CEO of Parkes Education, will sit on the panel and answer questions put to them by participants.

Topics to be discussed will include: Having the courage to change the status quo; Mindfulness as a strategy for teacher wellbeing; Lessons learned from working with schools to implement wellbeing culture; Finding the time for self-care; and Teacher mental health training.

There will also be opportunities for attendees who register to participate to ask the panel questions.

Teachers, Head Teachers and teaching support staff have been invited to attend the free session which will last for an hour after school from 4pm on Friday 9th October.

Peter Wingrove, CEO of Shawmind, said: “Our successful 2017 Headucation campaign ultimately resulted in children’s mental health education becoming mandatory in schools from this year, but teacher mental health appears to have been neglected. We are working hard to address this through a series of initiatives including teacher basic mental health training.

According to a recent poll conducted by the National Governance Association (NGA), more than 51 per cent of staff governors believe their schools are not “effectively addressing” workload and wellbeing issues.

Panel speaker, Adam Parkes, CEO of Parkes Education, said: “We cannot successfully invest in student mental health, without accepting the need to improve staff wellbeing first. We cannot expect to deliver a successful wellbeing curriculum, if the teachers charged with doing it are, themselves, struggling with their mental health.

Teachers or teaching support staff who are interested in taking part in the panel discussion or asking a question can join the Zoom meeting here: http://bit.ly/TeachersWellbeingPanel

Anyone who is unable to take part in the discussion live will be able to watch a recording on the charity’s YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/ShawmindYouTube

The Teacher’s Wellbeing Panel is the first event in a week of activities, which will also involve short videos from some of the panel plus other special guests from the wellbeing sector. The videos will be hosted on the Shawmind YouTube channel.

The week culminates in the online Teachers Come First #tcfc20 Conference delivered by Teachers Come First and Positively Empowered Kids.

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