Working in the healthcare sector, we’re well versed in conversations about saving lives and improving quality of life, but recently we’ve supported a project that stands to benefit people’s lives in an even more immediate way.

Team Chippy is a group of 21 people with two things in common: they’re all friends or family to Phil (known as ‘Chippy’) and they are all grieving his loss after he took his own life at the age of 29. Among them is our colleague and Phil’s big sister Claire, an IGNIFI’er of 10 years’ standing. Claire’s leading the charge to leave a positive legacy after the loss of Phil by helping prevent suicide and supporting those affected when a loved one takes their own life.

If U Care Share

Claire and Team Chippy have stopped at nothing in their support of If U Care Share, a charity set up to reduce the stigma around mental health issues and encourage people to open up when they’re struggling, knowing that one conversation could save a life. With band nights, cake sales, charity runs, and even selling Team Chippy branded merchandise, they’ve inspired us beyond words and raised an amazing £15,000 so far for a fantastic cause.

We jumped at the chance to help Team Chippy by designing its visual identity. And as the team limbers up for its latest charity challenge, the Great North Run, our creatives have been busy developing logos for all the sides in our Fantasy Football League fundraiser, in return for donations to the cause.

Changing minds

IGNIFI’s always been the kind of workplace where you felt there was someone to talk to if you needed it. That you wouldn’t be judged. Where you’re seen as a person not an employee. But after what’s happened to Claire’s family, and following the 2018 Inside Out campaign, there’s a genuine feeling that culturally, we’ve become even more mindful of people’s mental health and more comfortable about checking in with our workmates on how they’re feeling.

The uncomfortable truth

When a workplace health expert came to our offices recently, he said the most common issue he encounters when he meets employees in the workplace is mental health. Stress, anxiety and depression are the problems he hears about most, but also the most complicated to overcome, mainly because of the stigma attached to speaking out. And sadly, the stats back this up.

It shocked us to learn that suicide is now the biggest killer of men under 45 and women between 20 and 34. The fact that 84 men die every week in England from suicide is devastating to hear. 1  In an age of Instagram filters and social media reminding you that everyone else has the perfect life, it isn’t hard to imagine why people, especially young people, are jumping on the #LMBL bandwagon and are scared to admit they’re struggling to cope.

There’s always a way

The message for us all is that on any day of the year, whether we’re at work or at home, by being more in tune with how people around us are feeling, by asking the question ‘how are you?’ and really listening to the answer, we could save the life of someone who feels they have lost all hope. As If U Care Share puts it, ‘there is always a way’.

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Posted by Claire Hodgson
Key Account Manager

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