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Chasing the Stigma urge firms to take steps to support the mental health of employees

After recently receiving the Mental Health and Wellbeing Award at the 2022 Impact Awards, Jake Mills, CEO and Founder of Chasing the Stigma reflects on the win and discusses the responsibility of business to acknowledge mental health challenges.

The Digital Leaders Impact Awards celebrate technological innovations that improve people’s lives and the world around us. The sixth annual awards took place at London’s Ministry of Sound and awarded the latest champions of Tech for Good across the UK.

World-leading domain name registry company, Nominet entered Chasing the Stigma for the award, for its Hub of Hope app. This was established in 2017 by, Chasing the Stigma, a charity set up by Liverpool comedian and CEO, Jake Mills, following his own suicide attempt in October 2013.

Jake realised when talking through his own personal experience that many people didn’t know where to turn for help with their own mental health issues, so he and his team created the Hub of Hope – an app to bring together all of the mental health support available to someone in any given area.

The Hub of Hope is the only service of its kind that brings NHS, Samaritans, Mind and 3,500+ registered national and local voluntary, grassroots, private and third sector mental health support services together in one place, with the number listed growing daily. People can search for mental health support via their postcode or by concern and all the local support in their area will come up -just like Deliveroo.

To date it has directed more than 200,000 people to life changing and even life-saving help. The site has proved particularly popular amongst men aged 25-54, who are often cited as being most likely to die by suicide.

The Hub of Hope can be accessed through the app, which can be downloaded from the App Store (iPhone) or Play Store (Android), via the Chasing the Stigma website or The Hub of Hope also has a ‘Need Help Now?’ button that connects users directly to Samaritans or Crisis Text Line’s messaging service.

Jake Mills, CEO and founder of Chasing the Stigma, commented:

“We are extremely thankful to Nominet for entering us into these awards. It is so great that the app has been recognised for tech for good work, as that is exactly why it was created – to get people the mental health help they need as quickly as possible.

Living through two years of a global pandemic has had a seismic on everyone. The way we live and indeed work has fundamentally shifted and although some ’normality’ appears to be returning, it is unlikely that our working practices will ever go back to what they were before.

“While there are benefits to these changes, if they are not managed responsibly by employers they can be isolating. There is also still significant anxiety around health and safety and uncertainty for the future. Businesses have a responsibility to acknowledge these challenges and take steps to support the mental health of employees, contractors and suppliers as much as they do physical health.

“There are many ways to do this, but a simple first step is to highlight the Hub of Hope, alongside other mental health solutions as a gateway to support and better mental health for everyone.”