The purpose? For the community to come together for one night to focus on building solidarity around mental health awareness and supporting those who suffer from mental health issues. The event asked guests to stay "up all night" as night time is generally the hardest for anyone suffering.
Our office felt compelled to be a part of such an important cause as we see first hand how mental health issues impact every sector of law we practice within, most notably, employment law.
Paul Adam of our office recently tweeted:
A fact that wouldn't shock most, but should.
The panel talk was positively administered and cultivated an environment that was both informative and accepting so that attendees felt comfortable discussing the issues at hand. All panel members were knowledgeable and ranged from those who have experienced loss due to mental illness, who are leaders in the community, in human resources, taught and were students who had experienced issues first hand. There were even a few brave audience members who spoke out about their own experiences. Notably, how their lives were unquestionably altered for the better, having employers that both accepted mental health issues existed and assisted employees who were suffering from them via counselling services and a general understanding.
In the end, nearly $3,000.00 was raised to assist in the #yellowisforhello Friendship Bench, which is a not-for-profit organization connecting students suffering from depression or other mental health issues with available on and off campus support. They install a yellow bench on college and university campuses that acts as an icon to represent being open about our problems, not hiding them.
If you're interested in donating to this cause, there's still time and you can do so by clicking this link.