CA magazine: May 2021
There is a sense of renewed optimism in the air. The vaccine rollout, gradual lifting of restrictions and occasional glimpse of warmer weather have all provided reasons to be cheerful about the future.
But, keen as we are to put the pandemic behind us, it’s important to take stock of the past 12 months and how they have influenced just about every aspect of our lives.
The honest answer is that the pandemic has been difficult and upsetting. It introduced new stressors to our lives and, for many, exacerbated those that were already present. We’ve had to wear many new hats – from tech specialist to healthcare expert – and juggle more responsibilities than ever before. It’s changed the way we think about work, too, and led to wider recognition that business and mental wellbeing are inextricably linked. One cannot compartmentalise the personal and professional and, as a result, mental ill health is costly to individual and employer alike.
In good times and bad, it’s important to have support networks for your mental and physical wellbeing. Whether it’s friends, family, colleagues, your employer or professional body, these networks offer guidance and an all-important friendly ear. At ICAS, it’s a responsibility we take incredibly seriously. Our staff, members and students are a community – and we want to ensure you have access to the support and resources that enable you to excel.
This month, we are launching our mental wellbeing strategy. It’s a long-term commitment by ICAS, beginning with a three-year plan, that aims to break down the stigma surrounding mental ill health in business, make resources accessible to those who need them and see ICAS become a leader in this space. As your professional body, we want ICAS to be synonymous with best practice in mental health. The strategy has been created in collaboration with our staff and members – led internally by Janice Hutchinson and externally by Jonny Jacobs CA – and we welcome your feedback and contributions.
We’ve dedicated much of this issue of CA magazine to examining in depth the link between mental health and business, speaking to leaders in the field and sharing actions that each of us can take forward to improve our wellbeing. We hope the contents prove helpful and illuminating and, as always, that you enjoy the magazine.