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This Can Happen Awards’ 2020: Liz Rotherham Shortlisted for ‘Most Inspiring Colleague of the Year’ Award
The ‘This Can Happen Awards’ celebrate and recognise companies and individuals who have demonstrated excellence in their approach towards positive mental health for their employees and colleagues, successfully implementing positive change. The awards are open to all workplaces and individuals who champion mental health and the awards categories have been developed in cooperation with Mental Health UK.
This year, the awards attracted an overwhelming number of entries from a variety of sectors. Liz Rotherham from GC’s Witham office was shortlisted by the judging panel for the ‘Most Inspiring Employee of the Year’ award in recognition of her dedication to breaking the stigma around mental health, driving positive solutions and championing mental health and wellbeing initiatives for colleagues.
Liz has been a driving force behind several Mental Health and Wellbeing initiatives at GC. She is Co-Chair of the GC EMBRACE EMEA Mental Health, Wellbeing and Disability group alongside Valerie Badcock. As part of her role within the group, she has promoted a better understanding of mental health and wellbeing, highlighted the importance of wellbeing initiatives and ensured that a variety of events and resources are available for colleagues. She became a fully qualified Mental Health First Aid trainer last year and has now trained several UK colleagues to become Mental Health First Aid trainers.
Liz has organised several additional mental health and wellbeing events in Witham, including mindfulness and meditation sessions, ‘lunch and learns’ on topics such as anxiety, PTSD and stress management, and a ‘Happiness Challenge’ in January to help colleagues beat the January blues! The ‘Happiness Challenge’ involved several uplifting tasks, for example, random acts of kindness and gratitude practice, which received some extremely positive feedback.
One colleague commented: “I must admit the challenge really lifted my mood and kept me motivated on a daily basis, which can be tough when facing deadlines and pressure at work!” Another colleague said: “Liz is like a light at the end of a tunnel and always has a smile on her face, she has so much energy to give and no matter what she is facing she always sees the positive side of a situation.”
In addition to her extensive efforts surrounding mental health and wellbeing within GC, Liz has demonstrated her resolve to help others by getting involved with numerous external initiatives. She created a website as a means to share stories, offer advice and raise mental health awareness and has written a book about her personal experiences called ‘Life as a Rollercoaster: The Mayhem of Bipolar’. Liz also gives regular talks, often at schools, and is a MIND media volunteer, Time to Change champion and an ambassador for Bipolar UK.
Being shortlisted for the award is a fantastic achievement and testament to Liz’s dedication to raising awareness and taking such a positive approach to mental health and wellbeing initiatives. She said: “I was overjoyed to be shortlisted for this award and am so pleased that mental health and wellbeing is being recognised more in the workplace. It is vital that we support our employees and offer support and guidance where needed.”
Podcast with Jerry East: Coping in Covid-19: May 2020
Book now available at 'LoveReading'
The Book Critic's review was great!
A bluntly honest account of Liz’s life with Bipolar.
Told in a whistle-stop tour, Liz shares her experiences of Bipolar in this memoir. With open and honest accounts of her life that are almost anecdotal throughout, the reader is able to very quickly understand Liz’s life experiences. I prefer this type of autobiographical writing, as you grow to understand the author more quickly and spend less time lingering on perhaps superficial detail. With the aim of increasing awareness and expanding the discussion around mental health, Life As A Rollercoaster ends with reflections from each of Liz’s family members.
My own knowledge of Bipolar is limited and I found this to be a fascinating insight into both having it and living alongside it. I really enjoyed the additional perspective of Liz’s loved ones at the end of the book and appreciate that by Liz writing this memoir, they are also having a part of their life shared. It was interesting to read about the events from a number of different perspectives and I appreciate this team effort approach. I think having a witness or onlooker perspective adds an extra dimension to this book that makes it all the more engaging.
I found Life As A Rollercoaster an enlightening read and hope that it reaches a wider audience to help expand the discussion on mental health.
Supporting Essex Police when dealing with Mental Health
Review of Mental Health Act with MIND Charity
Time to talk 6th February 2020
We had an ex-armed forces gentleman from a charity called Rock2Recovery who came into my work place and conducted a talk to staff about PTSD and stress trauma. He was amazing and explained how powerful the mind was in affecting your life. He has affective techniques to help people deal with injury trauma and uses a combination of NLP and eye treatment therapy. We also had a cake bake and raised £590 for the charity.
NHS Induction 15th January 2020
Talking at an NHS Recruitment day for new staff joining the Essex Trust.
Chelmsford Library Event - Nov 2019
I was asked to hold a book event at Chelmsford library. 18 people turned up and listened to my talk and it was great as it was people who I hadn't met before. Lots of questions were asked and people gained some great information. I also sold some books which is great for SANE Charity and encouraging to help and educate more people.
Woman of the Year Awards - Oct 2019
I was kindly invited to attend the ‘Women of the Year Awards. This event is a celebration of the achievements of women across all walks of life and I was extremely proud to be invited as part of the group. I sat on a table with Maureen Lipman who was our host.
September -Raising Awareness in the Workplace
My Bipolar Podcast
Coggeshall Book Event
MIND media awards
Was delighted to be invited to the MIND media awards.
Mental Health Act Review: Facebook Live
Recently, five inspiring women were selected as finalists for the Daily Mail’s 2019 Inspirational Woman of the Year Awards as a result of their bravery, compassion and determination to make the world a better place.
Liz Rotherham from GC’s Witham office was one of five finalists shortlisted by the judging panel out of hundreds women that were nominated for making a real difference to their community., “For Liz to be selected as a national finalist is a truly remarkable achievement and a huge testament to her personal commitment to help people affected by mental health issues,” Roy Maddison, Managing Director of CSS, commented. “Having lunch with the Duchess of Cornwall and trying to ‘high-five’ her is also a remarkable achievement. This just demonstrates Liz’s no-nonsense and action-orientated approach. Her commitment to mental health education and support is fantastic, from counselling a frightened person suffering a psychotic episode, to speaking to children about her experiences and the importance of not suffering in silence. Liz has taken a personal challenge and converted it into an extremely powerful educational and support tool for vulnerable individuals. We are very proud to have Liz on the team.”
The winner was announced on March 7, at a gala evening in support of Young Minds, the UK’s leading charity focussed upon improving the mental health of children and young people. The nominees included Eileen Chubb, Lorraine Jones, Victoria Azubuike, Lisa Wells and Liz. Eileen launched the charity “Compassion in Care,” which offers support to whistle-blowers and relatives concerned about the conditions in care homes. Victoria used a grant from a local charity to organize an event at her local youth club, where five successful women spoke to attendees about widening their horizons and their ability to succeed, irrespective of their background. Lorraine, who won the award, took over her son’s boxing club, “Dwaynamics,” on Brixton’s Angell Town Estate after he was fatally stabbed while trying to stop a knife fight. Lorraine has helped to create a community hub and keep teenagers off the streets and out of trouble. Lisa was diagnosed with terminal cancer in December 2017 and has raised more than £90,000 for her local hospice and created a book to help other parents discuss death with their children. Liz was nominated for her extraordinary efforts in campaigning to help others understand mental health.
Liz, who was diagnosed with bipolar in 2003, has demonstrated an overwhelming desire and determination to use her experiences to help others by campaigning for a better understanding of mental health. For example, she has created a website to raise mental health awareness. The website serves as a platform for sharing stories and offering advice to those in need. Liz said, “The website is a place where I can share my story to help fight the stigma that is still very much attached to mental health disorders.”
Liz is writing a book about her experiences to educate and offer support and guidance to others. Part of the proceeds from the book will be given to the Young Minds charity. Additionally, Liz gives talks to schools, employment forums, police and NHS staff, explaining how her condition has affected her family, relationships, work and other aspects of her life. Liz explained the positive impact of her talks: “I am often thanked for sharing my story and having the courage to speak out. Particularly in schools, the feedback has been overwhelming. For example, teenagers have approached me to thank me and express how the talk has helped them to feel less alone when they are going through a tough time or have a parent that suffers with a similar condition.”
Liz is also co-chair of the GC EMBRACE EMEA Mental Health, Wellbeing and Disability resource group. The group’s aim is to promote mental health and wellbeing and to raise awareness about disabilities. The group has emphasized the importance of breaking down the stigmas surrounding mental health and highlights how support, wellbeing initiatives and raising awareness can help recovery. Liz will also soon become qualified to instruct Mental Health First Aid training, which will mean that she can train GC colleagues to be Mental Health First Aiders. “I believe vehemently that the more we all understand mental illness, the better we can help each other,” Liz noted.
Meeting the Duchess of Cornwall for the 1st Time. What an amazing experience. All part of the Inspirational award day !
Evening of the Awards.. Still in shock !!
Daily Mail Inspirational Award. Liz's Finalist video...
Liz Rotherham talking about her diagnosis of Bipolar, the highs and the lows.
Essex Police Training Video on Mental Health with Liz Rotherham
Speaker Talk Radio with Liz Rotherham
Dive in Festival - 26th September 2019
I also attended an event with Frank Bruno and Frank talked about his struggles with Mental Health and how he has overcome them and set up the Frank Bruno foundation to help young children.
Radio Interview with Chelmsford Community Radio
Mind Media Awards November 2018, Paul Farmer CEO of Mind and Jane, me and the one and only Alistair Campbell MP and Mind Ambassador
Pre & Post Talk at Greensward Academy