World Mental Health Day: in conversation with Jonathan’s Voice
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World Mental Health Day: in conversation with Jonathan’s Voice

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In this special podcast, Managing IP talks to a charity that is working tirelessly to support mental health initiatives in the IP profession

“It’s not just about being nice – it’s about business sense,” was one of many themes to emerge from our hour-long discussion with the charity Jonathan’s Voice to mark World Mental Health Day today, October 10.

Jonathan McCartney, after whom the charity is named, was a UK patent attorney who tragically took his own life in 2017 at the age of 35. He was described as loyal, kind, and loving, always doing his best for, and by, everyone.

On the podcast, his father Graham McCartney reveals that Jonathan’s death came as a complete shock after his son “appeared to hit a brick wall, mentally”. The family wanted to pay tribute to Jonathan’s life and create positive change for others, so they created the charity in his name.

One of the key figures is Penelope Aspinall, who joined Jonathan’s Voice in 2022 as a mental health consultant and lead trainer. She accompanies Graham on the podcast, with the discussion hosted by Managing IP’s editor-in-chief Ed Conlon.

Jonathan’s Voice spearheads and supports a number of initiatives, both in the UK and internationally, and collaborates with various organisations including IP Inclusive and the UKIPO. Graham describes one of the academics they work with as an “inspiration in the field of suicide research”.

As Graham and Penelope discuss, deadlines are the biggest cause of stress and anxiety in IP. A survey last year showed that around 50% of people were considering leaving their firm or the profession because of stress and anxiety. “It is shocking,” Penelope says.

On the podcast, Graham and Penelope cover a wide range of important topics, including:

· The themes their work has identified;

· How senior IP leaders can set the right culture in their firms;

· What attorneys should be offered when they are promoted;

· What Jonathan’s Voice’s ultimate goals are;

· How people can support the charity; and

· Their key message for anyone, including anyone in IP, who is struggling with mental health

If you’d like to learn more about Jonathan’s Voice, please visit the website jonathansvoice.org.uk or contact Graham directly at graham@jonathansvoice.org.uk.

Managing IP would like to thank Graham and Penelope for their time and to wish them all the best in their important endeavours.

The monthly IP Lounge podcast will return next month.

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