13 December 2020

Bartier Perry cements mental health focus

This article was originally published by Emma Ryan for Lawyers Weekly (13 December 2020).

Bartier Perry and Beyond Blue have paired up as the firm looks to raise the importance of mental health.

Together, Bartier Perry and Beyond Blue have launched a new brief video for clients and staff, discussing the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on mental health among Australians. In addition, the firm has made a $25,000 donation that will see over 500 inbound calls and messages to Beyond Blue answered.

“Like many organisations we haven’t held an end of year client event due to COVID-19 but instead have donated the money to support mental health services at the end of what has been a hugely challenging year for our people, our clients and the broader community,” said Bartier Perry chief executive Riana Steyn, commenting on the move.

“It says a lot about the work Beyond Blue does, that in accepting our donation, their CEO Georgie Harman also took the opportunity to talk directly to our people and clients about looking after your own mental health and supporting others.

Bartier Perry chairman Andrew Frankland said he hopes the video will help address some of the issues coming to the forefront off the back of the pandemic.

“Right from the outset we recognised that life under COVID had the potential to adversely affect mental health and wellbeing. A conversation was started within the firm about what could be done to help alleviate those issues within Bartier Perry but also for the wider community,” he said.

“In the video, at the conclusion of Georgie’s comments, a number of the Bartier Perry team share video snippets about how they went about building resilience from smelling the flowers, walking, playing with pets and wrestling with children.

“The video snippets from our staff are a bit of fun at the end of a long year but more importantly it’s about not glossing over the mental health issue and ensuring that we talk about it. I’m proud that so many of our people volunteered to submit videos and of course sorry they didn’t all make the final edit!”

Commenting further, Beyond Blue CEO Georgie Harman said the organisation has had its busiest ever year since it was founded two decades ago.

“This has been an extraordinary year that’s had profound impacts on the whole community’s mental health and wellbeing,” said Ms Harman. “There’s not one person in Australia that hasn’t been impacted in some way.

“Most importantly look after your own mental health. Put on your own oxygen mask first. We need to do that if we are going to be there to support others.”

The video can be viewed here.

Beyond Blue can be contacted on 1300 22 4636 or online. No problem is too big or small.