A WORKSHOP aimed at breaking down the stigma around mental health welcomed employers and organisations from across Swindon for World Mental Health Day.

The session, called 'Surviving and Thriving in the Workplace', was hosted at Fig Offices and led by Steve Carr, a trained mental health coach and campaigner and suicide survivor, who tours the country speaking on mental health with his company Mind Canyon.

Steve, who tried to commit suicide three years ago, shared his story alongside a practical workshop from mental health expert Paul Dorrington on managing depression and anxiety at work.

Steve told the Adver: "We're giving people the tools and technique to use in their organisations and to break down that stigma.

"We also hope to educate employers on the importance of mental health, to change those work cultures, and to change that stigma. The long-term aim is just to get everyone talking about mental health."

Steve worked for large companies, such as Unilever and Yakult, and found there was nobody to turn to when he started to struggle with his mental health.

"Having a mental health issue is not the end of the world, it wasn't for me, it was just the beginning. The more education and the further we can put that message out, the more we break down that stigma to make it acceptable to talk about mental health, nobody should feel ashamed about talking about mental health. we've all got it; every single one of us.

"One in four people statistically are shown to have mental health issue, we actually think it's a lot more than that, but nobody really wants to come forward to say they've got these issues going on. Unfortunately with mental health it isn't always visible."

Gemma George, centre manager at Fig Offices, told the Adver: "I'm very passionate about mental health, so it being World Mental Health Day, and being able to facilitate something like that it was the perfect opportunity for us to invite Steve in and be a part of this.

"We want to make this a central business hub, not just offering business support, but also the extra benefits, and mental health is a massive area in that so it made sense that we facilitate that. It's important for every employer now really."

Steve also used the day to announced the start of a men-only mental health group that will run out of the the Fig Offices, on three Newbridge Square, once every two weeks.