We were delighted to join the conversation last week at the Hope Conference, which brought together leading minds and campaigners to challenge stigmas around mental health

Hope was hosted by The Speakers Collective, a social enterprise designed to facilitate important conversations within the workplace and the wider community, along with Chasing The Stigma, a national mental health charity. The conference was built around a fantastic programme of speakers, with a rich variety of topics and journeys being shared; a genuine celebration of what a mix of voices can do every day to affect change.

Insight into a transgender journey

Diversity and inclusion is at the heart of our business – challenging stereotypes, ensuring our colleagues reflect the diverse communities we work and live in and ensuring everyone can bring their true self to work and know they belong at BHSF.​​​​​​​ So we were thrilled to be able to bring trans ambassador Katie Neeves to the speaker platform, having seen her in action at a previous BHSF colleague event. Katie came out publicly as being transgender after living for 48 years as a man.  She formed Cool2BTrans to support and inspire other trans people and also to educate the general public on trans issues.  She helps organisations with diversity and inclusion by providing trans awareness training in an entertaining way. Hearing her incredible story first hand was both uplifting and informative and we’d encourage you to seek her out if you want to know more about trans issues.

Adding colour to a white-washed narrative

Equally powerful words came from Dr Samara Linton, award-winning Writer & Author of The Colour of Madness. She shared the story behind her ground-breaking collection of poetry, fiction, essays, memoirs, and art submitted by people of colour, from writers, artists and academics, to mental health workers and those navigating life with mental health problems. The result was a fascinating snapshot into the state of the mental health experience in the UK for racial minorities, highlighting the deep inequalities that exist.  Deeply personal and sensitive and often uncomfortable to hear, this important work should be read by many more, to help drive awareness and change.

Keep an eye on our socials to find out how you can win a signed copy of this compelling book

Beat the winter blues away

What will you be doing to motivate yourself in January? Well, we were all energised and inspired by Hannah Beecham, founder of RED Together who talked passionately at the HOPE conference about RED – Run Every Day – January,  a brilliant nationwide movement for mental wellbeing, led by the community, for the community. Hannah launched the inclusive campaign after witnessing the transformative effect that regular physical activity had on her Mum, as she recovered from a period of severe depression. Such a simple idea that encourages people to move every day, to beat the winter blues away. We’re going to be supporting the campaign at BHSF and signposting our clients and partners too. Hope to see you out and about in January!

So thanks again to everyone involved in the HOPE conference, we look forward to continuing the conversations and collaboration in person and online!