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13 Oct 2020

Media Release: Clayton Utz is a proud founding member of the Corporate Mental Health Alliance Australia

13 October 2020: Clayton Utz today joined leading Australian employers in marking the formal launch of the Corporate Mental Health Alliance Australia (CMHAA). [1]

Our firm is one of 15 founding members and participants of CMHAA - a business-led, expert-guided member organisation dedicated to providing mentally healthy workplaces for their people.  

Clayton Utz Chief Executive Partner Bruce Cooper, who joins the senior leaders of member organisations on CMHAA's board, said as a non-partisan and co-operative alliance, CMHAA encouraged employers to genuinely work together to address one of the biggest health issues of our times:

We can each be open and authentic about the challenges we’re facing. We can talk freely about how we’re tackling them, what’s working and what’s not. None of us will have all the answers, but as a collective, we will have better answers - and hopefully, edge closer towards change that has real impact.  

People's willingness to share their own mental health challenges would also help to encourage a more open environment of awareness, discussion and action, he said. "Two of our people (Andrew Morrison and Caitlin McConnel) have very generously shared their personal stories, with colleagues as part of an R U OK Day? event internally, and as part of our support for CMHAA. It's that lived experience which can be really powerful in helping to change attitudes and encourage people to reflect on their own mental health - and think about what support they would benefit from, and what we as their employer could do differently, or more of." 

The other founding members and participants of CMHAA are: AIA Australia, Allianz Australia, Bunnings Group, Coles Group, Commonwealth Bank, Deloitte, DLA Piper, Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, King & Wood Mallesons, KPMG, Microsoft Australia, MinterEllison, Woolworths Group and PwC Australia. 

Clayton Utz has made mental health a priority as part of our broader health and wellbeing initiatives. We were the first Australian law firm to appoint a dedicated National Mental Health Manager in October 2019, and we are recognised as a Gold Employer under the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Skilled Workplace Program.

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[1] To mark its launch on 13 October, CMHAA live-streamed a panel discussion on the topic: 'How do we build mentally healthy workplaces?'. With the ABC's Ellen Fanning facilitating, the panel comprised Federal Health Minister, The Hon Greg Hunt MP; Microsoft MD and CMHAA Chair, Steve Worrall; City Mental Health Alliance UK CEO, Poppy Jaman OBE; National Mental Health Commission Chair, Lucy Brogden AM; Chief psychiatrist and Head of the Workplace Mental Health Research Program, Associate Professor Samuel Harvey, and; Bunnings Group Limited Regional Operations Manager Qld South, Marg Walford. Back to article

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Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this communication. Persons listed may not be admitted in all States and Territories.