Ini­tia­tive to help elim­i­nate stigma

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - BUSINESS - KATHLEEN SKENE & ALIS­TER THOM­SON

A LEAD­ING Gold Coast law firm has part­nered with not­for-profit LIVIN to raise aware­ness abot de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety within the busi­ness com­mu­nity.

The new ini­tia­tive, by LIVIN and Rams­den Lawyers, is ti­tled LIVINWell in our Work­places. It is an off­shoot of the LIVINWell pro­gram that has pri­mar­ily fo­cused on the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor and youth. It is due to be launched on Thurs­day at the head of­fices of Rams­den Lawyers in Bun­dall.

A con­ver­sa­tion be­tween LIVIN co-founder Casey Lyons and Rams­den Lawyers manag­ing part­ner John Rams­den about the is­sue of men­tal health in the work­place iden­ti­fied the op­por­tu­nity to use the ex­ist­ing LIVINWell plat­form and tai­lor it to work­places.

Mr Rams­den said he saw an op­por­tu­nity to use the firm’s long-term re­la­tion­ship with LIVIN to as­sist it to en­gage with staff on an of­ten­dif­fi­cult topic to dis­cuss.

“Men­tal health is­sues in the work­place are grow­ing rapidly across the coun­try with more than four mil­lion Aus­tralians af­fected by men­tal health con­di­tions every year,” Mr Rams­den said.

“As an em­ployer, I saw an op­por­tu­nity to lever­age our re­la­tion­ship with LIVIN to en­gage cor­po­rate Aus­tralia through the cre­ation of a fa­cil­i­tated bi-monthly break­fast fo­rum, us­ing their ex­ist­ing knowl­edge and ex­per­tise and com­bin­ing our net­works to en­gage em­ploy­ees and em­ploy­ers alike.

“Busi­nesses host a board­room break­fast every sec­ond month, invit­ing their staff and pro­fes­sional net­works and pro­vid­ing them with a for­mat de­signed to fa­cil­i­tate or­ganic con­ver­sa­tions among col­leagues and clients about is­sues they are fac­ing, and all in a re­laxed en­vi­ron­ment.”

One of the key driv­ers of the LIVINWell in our Work­places ini­tia­tive is Rams­den Lawyers part­ner Ben Twomey who lost his cousin, a fel­low lawyer, to de­pres­sion.

“It’s in­cred­i­ble to me that some of the high­est-achiev­ers are of­ten the ones most hes­i­tant to let you know they are hav­ing a hard time of things,” Mr Twomey said.

“My cousin’s story helped spark the con­ver­sa­tion with John and Casey about what we could be do­ing for pro­fes­sion­als.

“From there we de­cided that as a group we would cre­ate this fo­rum for pro­fes­sion­als to con­nect and sup­port each other.”

Rams­den Lawyers lit­i­ga­tion and dis­pute res­o­lu­tion part­ner Ben Twomey, LIVIN co-founder Casey Lyons and Rams­den Lawyers’ John Rams­den.

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