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.
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.
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.