World Mental Health Day 2023: A Campaign Close to Xander's Mission

3 minutes

Stigma. Discrimination. Lack of support. Limited access to housing, employment and welfare. It doesn’t make good reading when it comes to Mental Health.

There is some hope. The NHS Long Term Plan has committed to a community model of mental health care focusing on prevention. And stigma continues to improve for mental health issues like anxiety and depression.

But people living with severe mental illness are too often isolated from the mental health conversation. 

Did you know:

  • People living with a mental illness have a shorter life expectancy.
  • LGBT+ people are at more risk of suicidal behaviour and self-harm.
  • Black people are four times more likely to be detained under the Mental Health Act. 

In 2023, 500,000 of us in England lived with severe mental illness. It’s time we had a society that truly understands and actively cares for us. Living with a mental illness should not be a barrier a good life, and a career.

Despite the Equality Act in place, stigma is still prevalent. It is known, or at least felt, that those with mental health illnesses are less likely to find a job, maintain relationships, or feel at place in society.

Introducing Be Free Campaign

The theme for World Mental Health Day 2023 is ‘Mental health is a universal human right’ - and that’s why Xander is supporting one of its social enterprise partners, Be Free Campaign, whose mission is to break the cycle and challenge stigmas in the workplace, as well as the wider society. Their aim is to connect people struggling with mental illness with the right support, break down stereotypes and fight the stigmas that still exist.

The Be Free Campaign creates and implements mental health workshops for educational institutions and communities, runs mental health awareness events and media campaigns, provides training and volunteering opportunities and creates physical and digital mental health resources. This charity has approximately 150+ volunteers helping implement all of these projects.

Xander is extremely proud to have been part of their mission so far, with Xander consultant’s providing pro-bono support during their training period - a key aspect of our training academy. 

Acting as one of the project sponsors, Xander has been aiding the charity to find corporate sponsorships to increase their revenue and publishers for their books which are currently in production - so they can continue to expand their footprint.

The Project

Xander Consultants embarked on a mission with Be Free, focusing on two distinct objectives:

  1. Securing Funding

Our Xander team were responsible for researching and obtaining corporate sponsorships and grants to boost Free Campaign's revenue. The task was to identify businesses that shared the charity's values.

Careful analysis was key, ensuring that these potential partners aligned with Free Campaign's ethos. Grant applications were meticulously drafted and submitted, showcasing consultants' interpersonal skills in building rapport with potential sponsors.

  1. Finding the Right Publishers:

Simultaneously, our team delved into the niche market of publishers specialising in mental health and children's and adolescent books. Publishers were carefully selected and shortlisted based on their expertise and audience. These choices were discussed with project sponsors Shantunu (CEO) and Finn to ensure they perfectly matched the content and style of Free Campaign's upcoming publications. This expanded Free Campaign's horizons in their search for the ideal publishers.

Measuring Xander’s Impact

Thanks to Xander Consultants' support, Free Campaign secured funding from the Department of Health and Social Care, as well as additional support from pharmaceutical companies and community investment projects. Xander also played a pivotal role in building connections with schools across the country, amplifying Free Campaign's reach.

Shantanu Kundu, Founder and CEO of Be Free, had this to say about Xander’s support: "Xander went above and beyond, demonstrating dedication and a genuine enthusiasm to learn. Many of them had limited prior experience in our industry, but they embraced the challenge, acquiring valuable skills that will serve them well in their future careers. We wholeheartedly recommend Xander’s services for their commitment to driving social improvement and providing effective training and development."