Culture change business Utopia has launched a new mental health division, spearheaded by newly-recruited mental health advocate and qualified trainer, Emma Mainoo. This comes after a recent report stated poor mental health has cost UK businesses 16% more over the past three years.
Utopia’s new arm offers change programmes such as mental health hacks and Utopia’s trademark ‘accelerate’ session, which sees senior leaders go on an intensive, educational 24-hour journey. The practice aims to achieve three objectives: sustain the conversation around mental health awareness in the workplace, foster inclusivity, and strengthen teams. Like Utopia’s existing core offerings, the practice will be pertinent to all levels of businesses, from junior staff to CEOs.
The practice comprises:
- Hacking mental health: Prevent poor mental health and create hacks that work
- Mental health champions: Equip people managers to have difficult conversations
- Resilience workshop: Learn about the five S’s of resilience and techniques to thrive
- Speaker programme: Thought leaders across all areas of mental health
- 24-hour accelerate programme: Put a strategy in place that enables good mental health for all
Topics including stigma, anxiety, depression, resilience and recovery are all covered through the practice’s efforts.
By generating awareness and bringing the mental health of workers to the forefront, Utopia and Mainoo aim to accelerate change by working with businesses and partners, ensuring workplace cultures are open and supportive of enabling positive mental health.
Mainoo has more than twenty years of consultancy and marketing experience with global brands, government agencies and entertainment companies, and became a qualified Mental Health First Aid Instructor in 2019. Two years ago, Emma launched Surviving Sundays: a mental health storytelling platform where stories of survival are shared. It has since branched out into an event series with Soho House and a podcast. She has also appeared on panels and delivered keynotes and workshops for the likes of Coca-Cola European Partners, Schneider Electric, Facebook and Spotify.
Mainoo’s marcomms career took off in 2009, when she was appointed as marketing manager UK & Ireland for Wrangler Jeans. From there, she became head of European marketing for Calvin Klein, before stretches at Surgery Group, MediaCom and Sunshine, the latter of which she was managing partner.
Nadya Powell, co-founder of Utopia, said: ‘’Mental health in the workplace has, for the most part, been treated superficially. Yoga classes and a Wellness Wednesday doesn’t cut it – to enact meaningful change, businesses need to tackle the underlying causes of poor mental health. It means having difficult conversations and reconsidering how your business operates, but it’s what’s required to build meaningful, long-lasting strategies that work for everyone. Emma’s experience, knowledge and passion for positive mental health and self care make her the perfect person to lead our new practice.”
Mainoo added: “Declining mental health in the workplace isn’t just because of the workload. It’s also the socio-political nature of the office that can leave people feeling isolated – people are often afraid to just say they’re struggling, let alone seek therapy. In that context, this practice isn’t just for the C-suite or juniors or finance workers. Like the rest of Utopia’s programmes, hacks, accelerates and more, it’s designed for everyone – everyone matters.”
Utopia’s clients includeCoca-Cola European Partners, D&AD, Google, Schneider Electric, Spotify and Universal Music. Its top-to-bottom, boardroom-to-post-room approach has helped businesses successfully initiate inclusive and purposeful cultures for employees of all backgrounds and roles.