Laura Allen

Digital Marketing Specialist

DATE PUBLISHED: 25 May 2023 LAST UPDATED: 29 Jan 2024

Lunch & Learn with Dorset Mind for Mental Health Awareness Week

Last week we welcomed back Dorset Mind to speak at one of our Lunch & Learn sessions at our Charminster office for Mental Health Awareness Week. The subject was ‘Managing Stressful Conversations’.

During the session, Sharon from Dorset Mind, opened up discussions on a variety of talking points such as ‘What makes a conversation challenging?’, ‘What are acceptable/not acceptable conversation boundaries?’ and ‘How to look after ourselves after a challenging conversation’. We had a fantastic response from our staff who all felt the session was really beneficial and appreciated Dorset Mind taking the time to provide their expert advice on how to manage stressful conversations.

Dorset Mind is a self-funded local charity that helps people experiencing mental health problems access vital support. The charity says that one in four people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England. It says that only one in three adults with a common mental health problem is currently getting treatment in the form of talking therapies, medication or both.

Nigel Smith, Managing Partner, said: “Law can be an extremely pressurised profession, especially when dealing with clients and colleagues at some very difficult times.

“We are committed to supporting our people in a meaningful way by creating a working environment with an ethos of support and a focus on wellbeing inside and outside of the office."

“Dorset Mind joined us for a very well received Lunch & Learn meeting in January and we are grateful to the charity for returning for another incredible valuable session during Mental Health Awareness Week.”

We hold at least one Lunch & Learn session every month for personal and professional development in a range of subjects as part of our support for our staff and to put people first, this is incredibly important to us as a company. Earlier this year, Dorset Mind hosted a Lunch & Learn session focusing on ‘Stress Management’ and we hope to continue this relationship as our staff really appreciate and enjoy the sessions with them.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2023

This year’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Week was anxiety. The aim of this theme is to “increase people’s awareness and understanding of anxiety by providing information on the things that can help prevent it from becoming a problem”.

There are lots of things in our day to day life that can lead to feelings of anxiety, this could include pressure and deadlines at work, relationships with partners, friends or family, starting a new job (or losing one) which would cause anxiety due to the thought of the unknown and the less familiar as well as other big life events. We can also get anxious when it comes to things to do with money and not being able to meet our basic needs, like heating our home or buying food.

In a recent internal Wellness Wednesday newsletter we provided tips on how to cope with feelings of anxiety, this included breathing techniques, benefits of exercise, nature and talking to people when you’re feeling anxious. We also circulated a variety of events and activities that were taking place in the South West and London, including The Power of Flowers organised by the Sheltered Work Opportunities Project and The City of London Roadshow which aimed to raise awareness of mental health in business and provide inspiration to businesses starting out in their workplace wellbeing journeys.

We Put People First

Our purpose as a company is to Put People First! This applies to both our clients and our staff, we aim to support our people individually to be the best they can be. This is demonstrated through the professional and personal development opportunities we provide our staff such as our Mentoring programme, our networking group and Lunch & Learn sessions on routes to qualification. We also have a fantastic Social Group who strive to connect staff from all six of our offices through an array of social events and activities.

In addition to the Social Group, we also have groups for the following areas, Health & Wellbeing, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion and finally our Eco Group. All staff are encouraged and welcome to join any of these groups, raising awareness of their group and supporting staff. For example, our Health & Wellbeing group contribute to the content in our weekly Wellness Wednesday newsletters to provide tips on all manners of wellbeing including social, environmental, physical and mental.

We encourage staff to get involved in our fitness initiatives and have been connected to BASE fitness since 2020, starting out as lunchtime zoom HIIT sessions we have now varied these sessions to include bootcamp training on the beach in the summer as well as Barrelattes (mix of Barre and Pilates) hosted at BASE’s studio in Parkstone.

We have recently launched our volleyball training sessions with Deep Dish on Sandbanks beach as an opportunity for staff to learn new skills and connect with each other outside of work. We are also in the process of organising our own paddleboarding club which has had a great response.

To find out more about our culture and values at Ellis Jones, click here. If you think that you would fit into our culture, please give us at least one example of how in a covering letter attaching your CV. Please send your CV/Covering letter to

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