Dec 21, 2021

Men’s Mental Health Month and World AIDS Awareness Day with Gareth Thomas

Mariola Sebastian

Mariola Sebastian

Men’s Mental Health Month and World AIDS Awareness Day with Gareth Thomas

This month, we hosted rugby legend Gareth Thomas to share his story and raise awareness for this year’s International Men’s Day, Men’s Mental Health Month, and World AIDS day. Gareth is one of the most iconic and respected figures in world rugby, using his platform to challenge stereotypes and share his own experiences with mental health, coming out, and HIV.

What we learned

Gareth’s experience and his message were a perfect match for Credera. We have been working to raise awareness and break taboos around topics such as coming out, and mental health. The emphasis within our DEI group is to change the environment and to embrace the individual, removing the pressure on underrepresented groups to conform to the environment.

Gareth’s story was inspirational in many ways. We heard about his battle with mental health and how he turned his life around, finding strength and courage in his fear. We heard about his experience of coming out - the challenges, the doubt, and ultimately the support that he received from his family, teammates, and fans. He underscored the importance of open and supportive environments in allowing people to live as their authentic selves, with relevant policies serving as a starting point in building this rather than as an end goal.

Read next: National Coming Out Day: Credera’s Trans Support and Transition at Work policy

International Men’s Day, Men’s Mental Health Month, and World AIDS Day

On 19th November, International Men’s Day is celebrated worldwide to highlight the positive value that men bring to the world, their families, and communities. The day shines a light on positive role models and raises awareness of men’s wellbeing, with a particular focus on mental health.

World AIDS Day takes place on 1st December each year. Over 105,200 people are living with HIV in the UK and this date is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. There is still significant stigma towards HIV, with openness and education being key to defeating this. Modern treatments mean that virus levels in the blood can be managed to the point that it is undetectable, meaning that it can no longer be transmitted. At the same time, pre-exposure prophylactic treatments are available on the NHS to protect people from being able to contract it in the first place.

Our commitment to diversity and wellbeing

Our Gender Diversity network works to break down taboos around gender and remove barriers for all genders to be their true selves in the workplace.

Our LGBTQ+ network has undertaken both internal and external-facing activities throughout the year to help increase visibility and understanding of the lives of LGBTQ+ people and how this may impact on them in the workplace. This includes the recent launch of a special edition of our Technically Minded podcast, ‘How can consulting firms best support LGBT+ colleagues in the workplace?

As an organisation, we pride ourselves on the level of support that we extend to one another. Throughout the year, we have seen an endless offering of virtual activities to keep our colleagues engaged, motivated, and happy. We also offer an Employee Assistance Programme, and a number of our staff are qualified as Mental Health First Aiders. This means that they have been trained to spot the signs and triggers of a mental health condition, understand the factors that can affect wellbeing, and reach out in order to lend support and reassurance to those who need it.

As a firm, we recently launched our Global Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Wellbeing Report. The report gives further context behind our DE&I initiatives and commitments to increasing gender diversity within Credera and across the industry.

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