HSBC is marking World Mental Health Day (10 October) by encouraging its employees to speak up and raise awareness of mental health issues.

The bank aims to foster debate via social media on issues such as depression, anxiety and stress using the hashtag #OpenMinds. HSBC will be sharing short films of employees talking about their experiences, helping to break down the stigma sometimes associated with poor mental health and encouraging people to seek help.

“If you’re going through depression, if you’re going through anxiety or dealing with anything internally if you try to solve it yourself it’s not going to happen,” says one of the employees in the video. “It takes teamwork. It takes people in your corner.”

Another adds: “Talk to somebody, don’t just suffer.”

We want to have an open, caring and inclusive working environment

In addition, two of the bank’s employee networks are hosting a talk by Jonny Benjamin, a British man who launched a social media campaign to find the stranger who stopped him from jumping off a bridge in London. Jonny now campaigns and blogs on mental health issues. The talk will be broadcast to HSBC employees across the world.

António Simões, Chief Executive, HSBC Bank plc, said: “We are living and working in a 24/7 world, where we are always on. The pressure has increased on everyone, so we need to be more aware of mental health issues including anxiety and stress. We want to have an open, caring and inclusive working environment where our people can seek help and feel supported whenever they need it.”

As well as supporting its employees, HSBC helps various mental health charities and projects around the world.

In Hong Kong, some of the millions of dollars raised last year through a special issue of HKD150 notes by HSBC will be used to support three mental health awareness programmes.

HSBC’s 150 community fund, which was set up in 2015 to mark the bank’s 150th anniversary, is helping the BlackDog Institute in Australia to provide vital mental health services in 35 rural communities across the country. The fund is also supporting TAPS, a US not-for-profit organisation that assists families grieving the death of someone who has served in the armed forces.

In the UK HSBC has a strategic partnership with Mind, a mental health charity, and Alzheimer’s Society, which helps people living with dementia and funds research into Alzheimer’s disease. Employees are able to support these charities through their pay and UK customers can donate using online banking and at HSBC ATMs.

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