May 14th to 20th is Mental Health Awareness Week. To mark this, and to get everyone thinking about and talking more openly about their own mental health, we would like to share some information about what the week focuses on, as well as a free of charge breakfast meeting and panel discussion that IP Inclusive (as part of CIPA) will be hosting on Friday 18th looking at well-being in the workplace for intellectual property professionals and open to any students hoping to join the sector in a graduate role…

This year, Mental Health Awareness Week is focused on “stress”, and the knock-on effect that this can have on our wider well-being, such as being a factor in causing mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, self-harm and even suicide. Whilst the latter are hopefully extreme and rare examples, “stress” or feeling stressed, overwhelmed and unable to cope, whether whilst studying for exams, looking for a graduate role or whilst working is something many people will have experienced or will experience in the future. For instance, a 2018 Mental Health Foundation poll carried out by YouGov found that almost three quarters of those surveyed have at some point been so stressed that they felt they were overwhelmed or unable to cope.

So how can we cope, particularly when exams and finding a graduate job are looming on the horizon? The NHS have a variety of suggestions to help any students who feel stressed or anxious, including:

  • Think about what might be making you anxious – can you change your circumstances to relieve this pressure?
  • Lead a healthy lifestyle – get plenty of sleep, eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, cut down on alcohol, and maintain a strong work-life balance between studying and socialising.
  • Learn to relax and try to focus on something calm when you feel yourself becoming anxious.
  • Try breathing and relaxation exercises.
  • Speak to friends, a trusted tutor or family to help resolve your problems.

If you are thinking about a move into a graduate intellectual property role and you are concerned about how working in a fast-paced, challenging industry may impact your mental health or your stress levels, IP Inclusive are hosting Well-being at Work, a breakfast meeting and panel discussion to be held at Carpmaels & Ransford’s offices in central London, where a variety of speakers will share their personal perspectives on the importance of mental well-being in the workplace, and what we can all do to improve this, particularly in the IP profession. There will also be an opportunity to share tips and ideas on how best to support one another – ideal for any students considering joining the profession and keen to learn more about the various support networks in place.

IP Inclusive is an initiative founded to promote equality, diversity and inclusivity in the IP profession, with both CIPA and CITMA as founding members.

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