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What’s Happening Under the Surface? Oliver James on Mental Health Awareness Week

16 May 2018

by Jessica Williams

With two-thirds of us experiencing a mental health issue at some point in our lives, Mental Health Awareness Week serves as a powerful reminder that wellbeing concerns more than just the body.

2018’s theme is stress – the number one cause of work-related illness in the UK, and a major contributor to further mental health problems. Isolated instances of stress can often drive our best work, but when it starts to feel regular and insurmountable, we need to approach things differently.

“As Oliver James’s certified mental health first aider, I am the first port of call for any individual experiencing symptoms. This role is all about listening, reassuring and responding to those in crisis, while creating an environment where people feel safe and comfortable to come forward. As such, I have made it my priority to raise awareness among colleagues that mental wellbeing is a very real aspect of today’s workplace,” comments Kate Young, HR Manager at Oliver James Associates.

In keeping with this, Oliver James has recently delved into mindfulness, organising introductory sessions to give employees an insight into this ancient practice of self-awareness, mental resilience and clarity of thought. The first sessions took place over two days in our Manchester and London offices, and covered everything from mindlessness and breathing techniques to practical applications for mindfulness in the workplace.

“It was great to learn about the science behind mindfulness, and the benefits it brings to both mental health and overall performance. The session also signified our commitment as an employer to providing tools that accommodate all interests and lifestyle preferences, one core element of fostering a truly inclusive environment. I’ve no doubt mindfulness will become a bigger focus within the marketplace as more and more businesses cotton on to the positive impact it can make,” comments Matt Gale, Head of Marketing at Oliver James Associates.  

To find out how else Oliver James is contributing to employee wellbeing, check out our Work For Us page here, or contact Kate Young, HR Manager on +44 (0) 161 694 0767 or

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