President's Column - September
Kia ora koutou
When you receive this issue of the Insider, the clocks will have changed and we will be enjoying some longer days. I hope you all take the chance to schedule some extra family and recharge time as we start enjoying the spring weather.
Making every week Mental Health Awareness Week
Mental Health Awareness Week gave us all a great opportunity to pause, reflect and check in on what we are doing to support our own and others’ mental health. We all have mental health and mental health struggles are extremely common. 1 in 5 New Zealanders will face mental health challenges just this year. And 1 in 2 will experience mental ill-health in their lifetime. That could be you, or me or someone you love. Learn more.
I was stoked to see my own employer Spark going all-in with activities, events and encouragement for its staff during Mental Health Awareness Week: animated screensavers on every computer, a special guest speaker, Wellbeing Bingo and the launch of Blend (a new way to bring our people closer together). They even did some donation matching for Mental Health Foundation donations during Mental Health Awareness Week.
But as noted by wellbeing consultant Hugh Norriss, whilst it’s great to have a week to remind us, we need to focus beyond a single week. I was particularly struck by his observation in last week’s LawPoints about how we can make every day a mental health awareness day. As Hugh observes:
‘If we are not acutely aware of our mental health each day, we will be automatically running the behaviours, thought patterns and relationships that will lead to outcomes in our mental health that may one day come to unpleasantly surprise us. Additionally, if we are not highly aware of the mental health of others, we may not notice their struggle or dismiss it as nuisance or poor character.’
Let’s all make an effort and take up Hugh’s challenge of asking ourselves ‘how can we keep up this same level of awareness for the other 51 weeks of the year?’
You might want to start by listening to our featured ‘Speakers in Slippers’ clip with Psychologist Jacqui Maguire and her three tips for maintaining well-being and productivity during times of uncertainty. Watch video.
Adopting Model Litigant Principles
It is tempting to think of health and wellbeing as an adjunct rather than central to the way we work. Increasingly though, we see consideration of issues that impact on health and wellbeing in governance policies and to meet corporate social obligations. This month we feature a chat with Dione Miller, Head of Legal – Dispute Resolution, Investigations and Regulatory at the Bank of New Zealand. She talks about Model Litigant Principles and their introduction in her organisation. Read more.
Finally, a reminder that there are several upcoming CPD options that you may want to consider:
- improving your financial literacy
- updating yourself on the new Privacy Act 2020, or
- taking a or a deeper dive into areas of interest for in-house lawyers at the ACC virtual conference (we’ve obtained ACC member pricing for ILANZ members).
Noho ora mai rā